A huge chunk of what I write for the Gabber is arts-related, so I meet more than my fair share of artists on my quest for local stories. Some of the pieces are fantastic, and some are… not.
I love them all.
Our hub of newbie and professional artists, and many houses with home studios… well, it says something about us as a community.
Here are five of my favorites from 2021.
The Food Forest Book
If you know Gulfport, you know Crea Egan.
Last May, when I heard that Egan, who founded the Gulfport Food Forest, wrote a book, I was intrigued.
“What the Tree Whispered” has poems and surreal drawings. It feels like a private love letter between Egan and her own spirituality.
I’ve dropped mine in the bathtub twice, so it’s definitely a compelling read.
Michelle Obama by Nick Davis
Each piece in Nick Davis’s Black is Beautiful series has intense, unwavering eyes. Davis himself is a shy, perpetually smiling character with a happy-go-lucky lookout on life. I like this juxtaposition.
Davis’s “First Lady,” a digital, colorful portrait of Michelle Obama, features the First Lady and her husband, Barack Obama.
“I’m going to keep creating this series until I feel it’s time to stop,” Davis once told me. “It’s not time yet.”
I met Yoman Gal at last year’s Gulfport Fine Arts Festival.
His work looks like a psychedelic trip gone wrong, and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. This particular piece, he told me, he saw in a dream.
South St. Petersburg
I saw this painting of St. Petersburg’s Lassing Park by Vivia Barron before I ever saw the scene she molded it after in real life. When I stumbled on the beachside park while house sitting in the Old Southeast, it was the most bizarre deja vu. But unlike Barron’s depiction, the real deal lacks diversity.
The Queen’s Gambit Interpretation
Confession: I’ve never seen the quarantine favorite, “The Queen’s Gambit,” and I know nothing about the actor artist Camilla Byrd depicts, Anya Taylor-Joy.
Nevertheless, I love this painting. Specifically, the detail of the newspaper and her warped eyebrows.
I’ll most likely never watch the Netflix show, but I will continue to follow Byrd’s work.