Volume 04 | December 2020
From the Desk of the
Adult Programs Coordinator
Greetings Arts4All Florida Artists,

Over the last two issues of Apropos, we have shared with you a variety of tips for cultivating your passion for the arts and for continuing to hone your skills as an artist. In this issue, you will meet two of our Arts4All Florida Registry artists who have not only become more established in their own career, but have taken their talents into a teaching environment, working with Arts4All Florida on school residencies and community classes.

We’ll round out the issue highlighting the “Pieces of Peace” project commemorating the International Day for Persons with Disabilities, which was December 3rd, as well as Calls for Art that are currently open.

Most importantly, although a very challenging year, we still have much to be grateful for and I want to wish each of you as we approach 2021 the very best for a safe, healthy, and joyful holiday season and new year.

Sandy Sroka
International Day of Persons With Disabilities Celebrated Through the Arts
Featuring Three Florida Artists
Three Florida artists affiliated with Arts4All Florida have had their images selected for the “Pieces for Peace” international art project honoring the late Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith and commemorating the United Nations' International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3rd. Kennedy Smith, sister of President John F. Kennedy, founded VSA (Very Special Arts), an international organization supporting arts programs for people with disabilities.

“Pieces of Peace,” conceived and organized by Borderless Arts of Tennessee, is an art collaboration between twelve of the original VSA international affiliates resulting in a commemorative work of art that was presented to the United Nations on December 3rd.
The art is designed in the shape of a postcard as it is sending a message to the world. The 28 images around the edges celebrate the 28th year of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The teapot holds an image from each of the 12 partner organizations, representing how their efforts mix together to pour out a unified message, sometimes referenced as “teapot diplomacy”. The message of peace is a tribute to Ambassador Smith’s peace negotiation work in Ireland in the 1990’s. Each of the images is an artist’s representation of peace.

Arts4All Florida proudly recognizes the contributions of our Florida artists and the messages of peace they send on behalf of all persons with disabilities throughout the world in commemoration of International Day of Persons with Disabilities and Jean Kennedy Smith, the driving force in opening doors for artists with disabilities.

Florida artists represented in the Pieces of Peace Project:
Jack Beverland, “Mr. B”, of San Antonio, Florida - Jack Beverland, better known as “Mr. B.” has been a mainstay with Arts4All Florida for many, many years. He is a self-taught folk artist who has sold numerous pieces and received many awards over the years. He gives generously of his time as a collaborative artist in teaching students in schools and in community projects. “Peace Park” represented at the spout of the “teapot” depicts his vision for a future where all can come together in celebrating life and the diversity we each bring.
Richard Sele of Brandon, Florida - His work, “Mother Theresa”, a black and white etching, captures the compassion and toughness that enabled Mother Theresa to live alongside and serve the poorest of the poor and those shunned by society. Richard has exhibited and received awards for several of his scratch board artworks. “Mother Theresa” was featured in the Arts4All Florida 2021 Calendar.
Eilzabeth Siudock of Orange City, Florida - “Songbird’s Dream” captures an ethereal emotion of peace and serenity. Elizabeth became involved with Arts4 All Florida when we were formally within the originally VSA network. Her love for painting continues and she eventually opened a gallery in Volusia County.
“Pieces of Peace” Partners in the project included: Alfan Alkas Association Egypt, Art for All Center United Arab Emirates, ArtMix Indiana, Arts Access North Carolina, ARTS ACCESS South Carolina, Arts For All Kentucky, arts4all Florida, Art Spark Texas, Borderless Arts Tennessee, Fann4All-Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, VSA Singapore.
Artist Interviews

Mr. B exhibition at the Scarfone-Hartley Gallery at University of Tampa
Meet Mr. B

Jack Beverland, better known as “Mr. B” wasn’t always dreaming of being an artist but sometimes life closes one door and unbeknown to us, opens another. Very unexpectedly, Mr. B’s career came to an abrupt end when his company downsized and he was a young fifty-five years old. Finding himself at a loss, he headed west to a Hopi Indian reservation. That is where he took up drawing as an outlet to channel his anger and depression.

One of his first drawing, “Alone”, depicting himself and faceless figures surrounding him, landed in the permanent collection at the Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland! He had entered an exhibition there and the museum curator could not let the piece go.

That began a long career in the arts for Mr. B. He moved from drawings, to flat painting, and eventually found his desired medium in dimensional paint, “which is touchable, more alive and suitable to my knave folk art style.” His first one-man show at the Vero Beach Center for the Arts in 1995 sold 24 paintings and to this day, he still maintains his relationship with the museum he credits as launching his love of art.

In 1997, Mr. B was introduced to what was then called VSA and began traveling around the state and to Washington D.C. to speak about the effects of art on people with mental health problems. “I really enjoyed doing it, and I needed it at the time.”

Since those early days, Mr. B takes his Treasure Box art projects into classrooms, correctional facilities, and hospitals where children and youth can set aside their worries for a time and create an expression of themselves through making their own “treasure box”. “It thrills me to no end to see these kids reactions. Some I’ve run into as an adult and they tell me they still have that treasure box as a reminder.” The reminder being, “Your art is your art, there is no wrong way to do it or view it. You can do anything you want to.”

Mr. B still exhibits his work in galleries and, except for this year, he is regularly invited to the Kentucky Art Festival, renowned for folk artists. He also devotes a day to conduct student workshops while there.

His words of inspiration to other aspiring artists, “Like what you’re doing. Come up with your own style because you want to express yourself. Don’t get discouraged. Ever since those early days, VSA, and now Arts4All Florida, has been important in my life.”
Meet Sandy Olson Hill

Sandy Olson Hill’s career as an artist began in her college years as an English major with a minor in Art History. This transformed itself during a journaling class. Using colored pencils, visual art and her literary journal as a means of expression, she ultimately discovered what became an uplifting and positive experience and her mantra, “art is a mode of communication”.

Sandy views her career as the ideal job. Why? She finds art to be empowering. It is positive, powerful, and creative! Art became a means to work with students during
COVID-19. During a six-week career art residency, students from Lake County found alternate ways to create. Using YouTube, photography, and web design, a very professional looking video became an end product. Students learned principles of marketing art and conducted mock job interviews as thought about possible art-related careers. Sandy loves to see her excitement spill over to the kids.

Blending her literary writing talents with her visual art skills, Sandy has published three books and has had several poetry readings. Her artwork has been selected for several Calls for Art including her recent piece titled “Mask,” a part of her “Voice in Text and Texture” series created during COVID-19. This work will appear in the Arts4All Florida exhibition at the Florida State Capitol opening January 11, 2021.
“I thought about all the changes in my thinking and in my prioritizing since Covid, and although there has been some wear and tear to my person, psyche, and fabric, I realized I’ve learned a great deal about patience, and flexibility dealing with this pandemic. Along with my friends and my family, I’ve reestablished what’s really important to me. My piece reflects our resilience, and my community with other women artists.”

What words of encouragement does she have for aspiring artists? “Take a risk, the next step. Submit your work, conquer your fears. It’s OK to get rejected and to get surprised. Keep learning, engage with other artists.”

Artist Opportunities
March 5 - 27
Fort Myers
Open to all artists residing in Florida. Only original artwork will be accepted. Categories are: painting (including oil, acrylic, collage, watercolor and mixed media), drawing, photography, sculpture, ceramics, metalsmithing, glass, digital media, video, printmaking, fiber or textiles.

Best in Show - $1000 cash
2nd Place - $250 Gift Certificate TBD
3rd Place - $100 cash
Jurors Choice Award - Artist Membership ($55)
Deadline for Entries: Monday, January 25
February 11 - 22
The 2021 Florida State Fair Community Showcase Stage is currently searching for local groups and individuals interested in performing and showcasing their talent during that time. 

For Application: To pursue a slot during the 12 day fair, complete the online application at https://floridastatefair.formstack.com/forms/communitystage21

Submission Deadline: Spaces are limited and are filling up fast, so please have your application complete and submitted back to them by 12/31/2020.
January 14 - 17
MAS Theatre at the Carrollwood Cultural Center is looking for a few more cast members to help round out the cast of “The Parchman Hour – The Songs & Stories of the ’61 Freedom Riders” by Mike Wiley. “The Parchman Hour” is being presented through a special arrangement with Mike Wiley Productions.

To Audition: Please send a headshot and resume to Aaron Washington at aaron@carrollwoodcenter.org. You will be given sides to record and submit as your audition.

Submission Deadline: 12/23/20

Production: Rehearsals will be minimal and done virtually until the first of the year.
Roles: Searching for two (2) African American males, ages 18 to 40. Actors who can sing are preferred, but not required.
Plot: In 1961, the original 13 riders boarded a bus in Washington, D.C. bound for New Orleans via Mississippi and Alabama. Presented in the style of the variety shows of yesteryear, this moving production explores three of the tensest months of 1961.