Decker Ross Interiors is showcasing the first group of the Artists’ Collective at the February 7 benefit for the Humane Society of Pinellas. A raffle and silent auction of some of the artists’ pieces will be conducted to raise funds for the non-profit organization.
Eduardo Camejo-Garriga, a Cuban-American artist who will be showcasing his contemporary paintings and drawings at the Salute to the Arts event, has dedicated over a decade of his life to his passion: visual arts. During that time, he developed and evolved his style into what it is today.
“Art for me is an avenue to visualize how I see the world, issues and problem solving,” Camejo-Garriga said.
When he creates his contemporary paintings, Camejo-Garriga paints a series of 12 pieces with the same theme. His current series is titled “Control Chaos.”
“I feel that even under chaotic times we must stay within boundaries and
not lose ourselves and compromise who we are,” Camejo-Garriga said.
Before he begins painting a new series, he outlines the entire series. He selects all of the colors and materials. Then the creative process really begins as he takes the next coming weeks to paint an entire series.
Camejo-Garriga’s first piece was a colored pencil drawing titled “Waiting for Summer” after his childhood memories of spending summers at the beach with his family.
For the silent auction at the Salute to the Arts event, Camejo-Garriga is donating a 30 x 40 acrylic canvas painting titled “Excito,” which is a part of the series “Retracing my Roots.”
On top of painting, Camejo-Garriga enjoys photography. He even has another company in addition to the gallery. He runs Gulf Breezes Photography where he takes real estate pictures of houses for sale in the Gulf region. He also documents his travels through photography and takes product photos for major advertising agencies in the area.
The Cuban-born artist now calls St. Petersburg his home and owns a gallery there. Galerias Bohemia is a fine art gallery located at 649 Central Avenue in St. Petersburg. Camejo-Garriga exhibits artists from all of the United States and other countries in his gallery, specifically from Cuba. He brings in art from contemporary artists living and working in Cuba in order to enhance the cultural exchange between the two countries and shed some light on artists that may not have been heard of before.
In fact, Camejo-Garriga is a manager for a fellow Cuban artist as well as another participating artist of the Salute to the Arts event. Sandra Dooley Medina, a contemporary painter who uses her own life experiences as subjects of her oil paintings, was born in Havana, Cuba, and now resides in the seaside town of Sante Fe, Cuba.
Medina is a self-taught artist who admits that her painting is her lifeblood. Her paintings usually feature a brightly colored scene of a woman deep in thought. Her message is that life is difficult but there are always friends, family or fantasy around. For 13 years now Medina has been exhibiting her artwork all over the world.
The third artist hails from Long Island, New York, with extensive school in the arts and two master’s degrees. Patty Farrell, a sculptor, received a master’s degree in Education as well as in Art. She attended New York University, Hofstra University and School of Visual Arts. Farrell has been featured in several New York Gallery Art Shows, including the “Up and Coming Artists” show at the Guggenheim.
Farrell still recalls the very first piece of art she created. It was an alabaster stone Maya head sculpture.
Farrell was inspired to create art from her love of creativity and self-expression. But creating beautiful sculpted art isn’t Farrell’s only passion. She also enjoys helping others and gardening.
The final artist creates beautifully unique and delicate creations out of Murano and Venetian glass. Diana Lee Cunningham developed a passion for glass jewelry and art after she watched her grandmother create beautiful cloisonné pieces.
“My first memory of creating artwork was in the copper enameling studio with my grandmother,” Cunningham said. “Today I still work with glass, but now it is in the form of jewelry with Venetian glass set in silver, copper, or gold-filled wire designs that I create.”
Cunningham took her passion to the collegiate level and received a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design.
“Art is such a joyful experience… outward expression…always exciting!” Cunningham said.
Cunningham had a career in graphic design, marketing and advertising
with her company Partnership Marketing. But after 30 years, she could tell there was still something missing. After moving to Safety Harbor, her and her husband, Rick, enrolled in a jewelry design class and Cunningham’s passion for jewelry was reignited. Together, Patty and Rick, create the silver and gold necklaces adorned with natural gems, Venetian and Murano glass, and lamp work beads for her line called Diana Lee Designs. She has been able to enjoy the other passions of her life, such as horseback riding, tennis, and travel to exotic places to appreciate the art of other cultures.
Cunningham said most of her designs come to her as she is going to sleep, so she keeps a pad on her bedside table.
Cunningham makes each jewelry piece according to the style and personality of each customer, so no two pieces are alike. She has even branched out to glass infused wall art, which are mounted on canvas then framed.
“Connection with my clients is very important to me since I am helping them create their own statement,” Cunningham said. “And how wonderful is that?”