Discover Local Artists: Who are also authors

Some artists like to express their creativity by authoring books. The Cultural Council of Palm Beach County will present both the art and the books created by a group of artists through an exhibition and lecture series, March 16 through May 18.

Artists participating are Harry Benson, JoAnne Berkow, Geoffrey Bradfield, Carlos Castellanos,  Nancy Ellison, Stephen Gibson, Bruce Helander, John Loring, John Mercurio and Andrew Kato,  Edwina Sandys, Barry Seidman, Jeffery W. Smith and Sandra Thompson.

Seidman NEW Head Shot sm
Barry Seidman

Photographer Barry Seidman will present photographs from his series Handscapes. His book titled New Eyes, a “photobiography,” is a compilation of his many fine-art photographic series in a signed and numbered, limited edition. Included with each book is a signed original giclee print.

“‘To know it as well as the back of your hand.’ With Handscapes, it is the intimate self-exploration of my left hand as an abstraction, created by the curves and shapes that have always been there, but not really discovered until this moment,” Seidman said.

Seidman: Handscape, #266, Artist’s Proof #1. Archival Lambda print mounted under Plexiglas, 31 by 44 inches. Signed and dated on verso
berkow head shot

Painter and sculptor JoAnne Berkow will show pieces from her ‘Cloud Series,’ which takes a subject that is already abstract and breaks the composition down into individual modules. Berkow is the author of three books, Shades of Love; What They Didn’t Teach You In Art School, and Painted Poetry.

“Considering how realistic my paintings appear, it may surprise the viewer to learn that I tend to think of my work as a stringing together of abstractions,” Berkow said.

Sunrise-I Sm  Version
Sunrise by Berkow

Composer, Lyricist, Writer John Mercurio

Andrew Kato Conceiver,  Director

new John Mercurio headshot sm
John Mercurio

For more than 20 years, the successful collaborative team of John Mercurio and Andrew Kato have combined their talents to do what they do best: storytelling. Kato is the idea man and develops the scenario playing an integral part in the creation of the story and how it will be told, suggesting plot points, design elements and other theatrics, while Mercurio writes the book, music and lyrics.
At Artist as Author, they will present “Page to Stage,” a depiction of the importance of the book and how it is developed and translated to renderings and ultimately the stage.

Andrew Kato Headshot sm
Andrew Kato

A lecture series, consisting of panel discussions with the artists, will be held April 2, 16 and 30, at 3 p.m. at the Cultural Council Gallery, located at 601 Lake Avenue, Lake Worth. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information call (561) 471-2901.

Real Estate Update Feb 2013

According to Florida Realtors latest report (Feb. 21) the real estate market is improving.

According to Bloomberg, Jan 31, 2013, statewide foreclosures are up.

Robert Shiller can’t offer a clear picture.

I’m paying attention, because I’ve listed my house, and if this sounds confusing to you, join the club. Before jumping down to the end of this article to read more on what the FL Reators, Bloomberg and Shiller have to say, take a look at how some of our local realtors see it:

Mark Lunden: K2 Realty, North Palm Beach, (561) 691-1223

“Here’s my take: As always – all real estate is local. In the north county (Jupiter, Tequesta, Juno Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, and North Palm Beach – an inventory that includes roughly 100k homes) there are currently 65 properties listed for sale as REO (bank-owned). I don’t know what is considered ‘normal’ for REOs, but I can say with confidence that 6/10 of 1% is likely below average. In this area, there is no inventory – roughly 2700 properties listed for sale out of 100,000 or so. The rule-of-thumb has always been that, in a ‘healthy’ market 10% of the available inventory is for sale – we’re at 1/4 of that – less than 5 month’s supply.

“We are seeing multiple offers/competing bids on any property that is priced reasonably. What sets this apart from the boom is that prices are climbing at a reasonable, non-bubble pace. Good news for buyers. One of the toughest jobs we have now is convincing sellers that they have priced the property correctly – many are surprised how quickly they are selling and think they should hold off. One of the problems there is that there is a danger of the property not appraising. Appraisers are overly cautious and therefore artificially holding down prices. Their fear has precluded them from recalling that ‘market price’ is just that – what the market will bear.

“To sum up – the market in NPB County is white hot, and has been since the turnaround over two years ago.”

Joseph M. Quirk, Cobblestone Realty, Jupiter, (561) 427-9326,

“The North County area has seen certain home price points prices jump 20-30% in the past year in a number of neighborhoods. Condos and single family homes in the 75-250k price points have all but disappeared off the radar.

“Investors, paying cash for income producing property, have become the day to day buyers and can’t find enough available inventory.

“In our area, the higher priced properties are next in line to be picked at as we’ll as the areas moving north, Tequesta, Hobe Sound and up through Stuart and Port St. Lucie as the inventory in the Palm Beach Gardens, Juno and Jupiter area continues to shrink.”

This Palm Beach Gardens townhome in Cielo was sold on 12/17/2010 for $236,900 and today is listed for sale through Cobblestone Realty for $310,000.

“This Palm Beach Gardens townhome in Cielo was sold on 12/17/2010 for $236,900 and today is listed for sale through Cobblestone Realty for $310,000.” – Joseph Quirk

And how about other parts of Palm Beach County? Here’s what my realtor, Diane Duffy (with Illustrated Properties in the Manalapan office), told me the other day. “There are no metrics to work with right now. List Prices/Sale Prices are all over the place and even appraisers are having trouble pinning them down. Closed sales continue to be cash driven. Cash buyers are buying what they like– if they get a good vibe, they move on it. Because of this, the person requiring financing can’t sit on the sidelines — don’t wait, follow your gut and make an offer. At the end of the day, you won’t be disappointed that you did.” (Diane Duffy’s number is (561) 767-0860)

front house 122 1 copy
122 North L Street, Lake Worth

News from Florida Realtors: According to housing data released by Florida Realtors, Florida’s housing market had increased sales, higher median prices, more pending sales and the continued shrinking of inventory levels in January. However, overly restrictive credit requirements remain an obstacle for many potential buyers, who find it difficult to access affordable financing options.

Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 13,679 in January, up 11.7 percent compared to the year-ago figure.

Meanwhile, pending sales – contracts that are signed but not yet completed or closed – for existing single-family homes last month rose 31 percent over the previous January. The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $145,000, up 12.4 percent from the previous year.

The inventory for single-family homes stood at a 5.6-months’ supply in January; inventory for townhouse-condos was at a 6.2-months’ supply, according to Florida Realtors.

“I’m particularly impressed with the rise in percentage of list price received by sellers,” said Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo, referring to the January data. Sellers of single-family existing homes in January received an average of 92.2 percent of their original list price; sellers of townhome-condo units received an average of 93 percent.”

News from Bloomberg: One in every 32 Florida households received at least one notice last year, more than double the average U.S. rate of one in 72, RealtyTrac said on Jan. 17. Statewide, home repossessions increased by 16,276 over the 12-month period to 84,456, the biggest gain in the U.S. The state’s foreclosure crisis is exacerbated by a required court review of each case.

Robert Shiller: “We’re beginning to hear noises that we’ve reached a major turning point in the housing market — and that, with interest rates so low, this is a rare opportunity to buy. But are such observations on target?

It would be comforting if they were. Yet the unfortunate truth is that the tea leaves don’t clearly suggest any particular path for prices, either up or down.

“I can’t offer any clearer picture, and I don’t see a solid basis for anyone else to do so, either.”

Discover Local Artists: Palm Beach Fine Craft Show

Four area artists will be among the 125 from around the country who will bring their latest work to the Palm Beach Fine Craft Show when the event returns to the Palm Beach Convention Center for its 10th season, March 1-3. They are: Irina Grammatina (wearable art, booth 421) and Andrea Janosik (jewelry, booth 316) of West Palm Beach; Debbie Lee Mostel (mixed media, booth 602) of Palm Beach Gardens; and Jim and Tori Mullan (mixed media and jewelry, booth 609) of Lake Worth. Like the other artists in the show, these artists were selected by a jury of professionals in the field of fine craft, and all four will be exhibiting at the show for the first time this year.

Irina Grammatina was born in St. Petersburg, Russia and began art school at 6 years old. She graduated from Mukhina Academy with a degree in industrial design. She successfully sold her paintings in Russia and Scandinavia and moved to the United States where she has worked in the fashion industry in Palm Beach since 1997. Her own hand made fashions include hand painted silk wearables and unique T-shirts with her designs rendered in Swarowski Crystal.

Irina Grammatina: creates hand-painted tunics and scarves. All designs are original and unique, entirely handmade using high quality French dyes on white natural silk. Free-hand painting is created by using brushes and resists, no stencils. It is fixed by steam to prevent color fade or wash and is very durable.

Andrea Janosik was born in Slovakia. During her early years, her family lived in Zambia, Africa, moving to Germany when she was a teenager. Janosik studied art and sculpture in Germany before moving to the United States. She graduated from Parsons School of Design in New York. She received the Emerging Artist award from the Society of North American Goldsmiths and the Art Jewelry Forum in 2007 and the Award of Excellence from the American Craft Council in 2011. Her work has been exhibited widely in the United States and published in Leather Jewelry and Art Jewelry Today 2.

Andrea Janosik’s “White/Black Cone Necklace,” rolled leather necklace with oxidized sterling silver on a leather cord.

Debbie Lee Mostel is the quintessential “beach girl.” When she was a little girl, she would sit alone on the dunes and think that the crashing waves were “Mother Nature’s Heartbeat.” She speaks fondly of how motivated she was to create art after an exquisite performance by lightning or watching the delicate but powerful dance of a butterfly. After a 15-year career as a fashion jewelry designer, she developed a fascination for the construct of technology – the intricate designs of motherboards, heat coils and laser pickups – and a fondness for using those objects, and others, to create mixed-media works of art.

“Loves Light,” mixed media on wood by Debbie Mostel. 

Jim and Tori Mullan enjoy combining natural materials with found and recycled objects to give their designs a time-worn yet renewed feeling. By pairing old watches, vintage toys, and scientific instruments with things found in nature, such as, birds, dragonflies and animal components, they create one of-a-kind mixed media jewelry and assemblages.

Jim and Tori Mullan: “Hare today, gone tomorrow.” Mixed media sculpture hand carved from wood and incorporated with various metals, natural materials, and found objects.
Jim and Tori Mullan: “Dragonfly #2.”  Mixed media pin created from brass, sterling silver, stainless steel, vintage ivory and found objects.

The Palm Beach Convention Center is at 650 Okeechobee Blvd, West Palm Beach. Dates and hours for the show are: Friday, March 1, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, March 2, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, March 3, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Ticket prices are $15 per person, and $14 for seniors.

Fashion show, featuring art couture and jewelry are Friday, March 1 at 3 p.m. and Saturday, March 2 at 1 p.m.

Guest lectures are as follows:
Friday, March 1, 1:30 p.m. – Contemporary Fine Art Glass: A Symposium, with Linda Boone. A former owner/director of Habatat Galleries and president of The Glass Art Exchange, Boone will lead a panel discussion with art dealer Jo Met, collector Steve Funk and noted glass artists Matthew Fine and Charles Savoie.

Saturday, March 2, 3 p.m. – Enhance Your Collection With Enamels, with enamelist Judy Stone. A member of the Northern California Enamel Guild, and The Enamelist Society, where Stone served a 6 year term on the Board of Trustees.

Sunday, March 3, 2 p.m. – The Art of the Story: Ceramic artist Kirsten Stingle. Every culture in the world has its favorite storytellers – those who have added to the richness of people’s lives by telling their stories. But not all stories are told with the spoken word. Stingle will talk about her inspiration and the new collection she is working on for a museum exhibit at the Marietta Cobb Museum of Art this September.

PB Post article link, Feb. 20, 2013