When Gulfport glass artist Brenda McMahon held the first ArtJones Studio Tour five years ago, it was a tight-knit group of Gulfport artists showing their home studios. This year’s tour (Dec. 4-5) boasts multiple artists (in fewer stops) in each studio, includes both St. Petersburg and Gulfport artists, and features emerging artists and seasoned pros.
While much has changed, several original artists remain – Ray Domingo, a Gulfport artist known for realistic oceanic creatures, included. Domingo recalls the first year, when 300 people flooded his studio and promotional drawings for art brought excitement to once-quiet spaces.
“I remember the first meeting we had about ArtJones, before it even had a name,” Domingo told the Gabber. “I suggested ‘ArtJones’ and I was met with blank stares. Now, you don’t even need to explain it.”
The ArtJones Scholarship Award – in its first year – doesn’t pay money, but McMahon waives the artist’s entry fee. Fused glass artist Michele Ingram, whose work centers around African tribal symbols, earned this year’s honor.
Her African masks and fertility dolls aren’t just pretty.
“I wanted to visit my heritage,” Ingram said. “I love the history and stories of this work and how every piece has a use.”
Ingram will exhibit alongside four other artists at Stop #2. See the who’s who of creators and map your tour at artjonesstudiotour.com.