'Why these artists wake up in the morning'
For a group of Ormond Beach artists, art is everywhere.
It's in paintings, sculptures, fabrics, foods and the shapes that make up everyday objects. And as artists with a focus on the experimentation of new, abstract art, these artists part of the Beaux Arts of Central Florida are hoping that people who come see their exhibition at The Casements will see that art doesn't have to be about a specific thing.
“It is not necessarily a picture of something," Ormond Beach artist Robin Moore said. "It could be a mood, it could be an emotion — it could just be an interesting composition of colors and shapes.”
The show, titled "Art is Why I Wake Up in the Morning," features art from 25 artists, six of which are from Ormond Beach. Beaux Arts is an invite-only organization composed of 50 professional and semiprofessional artists that began in the Halifax area in 1962, according to the Beaux Arts website.
Fay Samimi is one of the six local artists, and specializes in sculptures. In line with the show's title, she said she wakes up early and excited in the morning when she has a project in mind.
In contrast, when Ormond Beach artist Robert Shirk first heard the theme, he paused. Art is what actually keeps him up at night, he said.
These group of artists haven't always painted abstract. Many of them got started in realism, as was the case with Moore when she found the Art League of Daytona. At the time, she was painting what she called "Florida art" — seascapes and traditional landscapes.
"I love abstract art," Moore said. "I didn’t know if I could do it, but I kind of conquered the realistic, I thought, and I was ready to try something new.”
So she got into a class, and the rest is history, she said.
Ormond Beach artist Barbara Perkins said she's intrigued by the mystery of abstract art. Like Shirk, her ideas come to her at night.
“So often in some of the things that I’m working on, I’ll have an idea or fun images, but then again, something else shows up that I don’t expect that is mysterious, and that’s really wonderful, I think," Perkins said.
What Ormond Beach artist Babz Lupoli loves is seeing people look at art during a show.
“What you want them to do is stop and be attracted to some painting and then they just stand there," Lupoli said. "They really look at it and that’s what I like. When people really give a painting a chance.”
Art is more important now than ever, Moore said, and the group agreed. People need that "oasis," she said.
Lupoli said that someone told her a long time ago that "work is what we do so we can get to the arts."
Samimi started making standard clay pieces on the wheel, but after a while, she felt like she had done everything. Moore said making the journey from realism to abstraction is like taking "two steps forward and one step back." She said artists have to let go of that reference to a realistic subject matter.
"It’s almost like a safety net," Moore said. "You have to be willing to jump out of that safety net.”