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Ormond Beach Observer Monday, Jul. 31, 2017 1 year ago

Women artists making their presence known

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FLWAA Florida Women’s Arts Association established 17 years ago.
by: Jacque Estes Community Editor

Marianne Verna laughs when she talks about how she became the president of the Florida Women’s Art Association.

“I went to the Tomoka Art event in January of 2015 and asked about membership. Then I was asked if I wanted to be

president,” Verna said.

The organization currently has 40 active members and the numbers are growing. Artists of all disciplines, from painters to poets, make up the membership, but it’s not a requirement.

“You need to like art, and be willing to promote women in the arts,” Verna said. “You don’t have to be an artist.”

From 5- 8 p.m. on August 4 the FLWAA will have a reception at Arts on Granada to open their “Random Act of Arts,” show. The art will remain on display until September 13.

Member Mary Unson, an Arts on Granada studio artist, is wood burning a child’s table and chairs to be previewed at the reception. It will be auctioned at the Childhood Cancer Foundation Gala on September 9.

“The biggest thing about joining them (FLWAA) is connecting with other women artists that have already walked this road,” Unson said. “I’m new to the art world and I feel like there is so much wisdom that can come to me and that I can learn from.”

Verna said the group has been displaying their creations at a variety of venues. In January the Ocean Air Art Prize was established, an idea brought back to the area by artist Joan Baliker after she saw a similar event in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The art was created by 30 artists and displayed in 15 venues along downtown Granada Blvd., and was hosted by FLWAA in partnership with Ormond MainStreet.

Ocean Air Art Prize was so successful the first year; Verna would like to see it expanded west on Granada to Nova Road next year.

The group alternates the location of its monthly meetings between DeLand and Ormond Beach, the second Wednesday of the month, and meets at local restaurants.

“We (FLWAA) actually started in DeLand but then more of our members were living in Ormond Beach,” Verna said.

Members displayed their art in the Rose Room at Peabody Auditorium last November, and in July they were one of the featured displays at the Ormond Beach Regional Library.

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