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Nature Coast Art League March Artist of the Month

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Joan Annicchiarico is an award-winning artist whose beautiful portraits capture the sublime beauty of nature. Now, her works of art are capturing the attention of the art world, earning numerous accolades.

Joan Annicchiarico is the Nature Coast Art League March Artist of the Month. She also just earned an Honorable Mention at the NCAL Art in the Park competition. And one of her signature portraits is on display throughout this month at the Spring Hill Branch Library, 9220 Spring Hill Drive.

Artist Joan stated, “It is a piece called ‘Spring has Sprung.’ It is a Prismacolor wax pencil work of crocus.” Through her pen and her brush, Annicchiarico conveys the beauty of nature, people, and pets.

“I’m known for florals, enjoy portraits, seascapes/landscapes, critters. I’ve had many commissions for pets,” she continued. “My favorite mediums are watercolor, oils, and Prismacolor. Of course, I’ll always try something new.”

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Annicchiarico has led a long and varied career in the creative arts, one that finds its origins in her childhood. “I don’t know when my interest in art began, but I was very young – Crayola crayons, pencils, paint crepe paper, clay, and paper mâché. My mother didn’t mind my messy projects and always encouraged me,” she said. “A nun told my mother that I would be an artist. I was in kindergarten. Art class was my favorite part of the day. As I got older and found local schools that offered anything to do with art, I was there.”

From the earliest stages of her career, Annicchiarico’s work was lauded and honored. “My first award was a contest for a bank advertisement, ‘How to Control Your Future.’ My submission was a large piece using poster paint. My subject was a marionette control bar holding ideas to save and invest in your future,” she said. “I won the contest and received a large sum of money deposited in that bank’s account. I was 14.”

Although she considered a career in commercial art, Joan Annicchiarico ultimately took a job in the field of medical technology, all the while maintaining and refining her interest in the creative arts. “Art was a hobby while I worked full time. I’ve been on the board of many art leagues in NJ, NY & Pa. Today it’s all about relaxing and enjoying our Florida home, the great weather, and it doesn’t snow!” Joan shared. “My job was demanding, but I made time to travel to art events in Europe, Ireland, many islands, and the U.S. to paint with well-known artists. My biggest supporter is my husband. He was at my side setting up shows on Long Beach Island and many other venues and gallery events. He even purchased a larger vehicle to carry my equipment and artwork.”

She returned in full to her first life’s passion upon her retirement. “Life changes. I retired from Becton Dickinson World Headquarters in Franklin Lakes, NJ. I spent time in the Spring Hill house that we built for our future retirement. We lived on a mountain in northern NJ and wanted to get away from all that snow that stayed on our lawn until April!” she explained. “Down here, I found the Spring Hill Art League (Nature Coast Art League), and it has been a pleasure all this time.”

In addition to showing and refining her art skills in NCAL, this artist also shines as a league officer. Joan shared, “I’ve been on the Board of NCAL for 17 years as the membership chair/assistant treasurer. My computer background as a statistician made it easy for me to develop the program that I use for NCAL. Our art league is a great place to meet new people, learn great ideas and let new techniques flow.”

“Setting up art events and fundraisers for any organization is very hard work but very satisfying. My silent auction at Strong Towers was quite an event in Spring Hill. Very successful and offered many scholarships that year,” she continued. “My team painted a picnic table at the first Blueberry Festival and won first prize. So many chances to get involved.”

And as much as Annicchiarico enjoys painting blooms, she also likes to inspire the creative ‘blooming’ of future artists and their own careers and endeavors. “Working the scholarship program is awesome. Reviewing the Senior art students, seeing their creativity and school accomplishments is very interesting,” she said. “Knowing you can extend a young artist’s future with recognition and a hefty check. I love to watch their faces when they are chosen and awarded.”

All of these years later, Joan Annicchiarico continues her artistic journey–one that takes her both around the country and across the creative spectrum. “Many years, so many shows, and all the wonderful artists that I have had the pleasure to meet and paint with up and down the east coast,” she said. “I wonder where I found the energy!”

Linda Graves, president of the Nature Coast Art League, appreciates the bountiful artistic energy that Joan Annicchiarico brings to the Nature Coast Art League. “Joan is such an intricate part of NCAL, and she is a wealth of information regarding our history and members,” said Graves. “She has a fantastic personality, and her smile brightens the room.”

Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey is a features journalist and author who is the winner of Florida Press Association honors and a certificate of appreciation from LINCS (Family Support Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force) and Sunrise Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center for her newspaper coverage of these issues. She graduated cum laude from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., with a journalism major and English/sociology minor, and previously wrote for publications that include the Pasco editions of The Tampa Tribune and Tampa Bay Times. A native of Indiana, she lives in Florida.
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