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Go on a watercolor journey with Spring Hill artist

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The work of an accomplished Spring Hill painter is currently in the spotlight at Pasco-Hernando State College. The exhibit displays a dynamic and vivid one-woman art show that whisks viewers away on what may be the ultimate watercolor journey.

“’A Watercolor Journey’ is a collection of work by internationally recognized watercolorist, Karen Heidler,” stated an event notice. “Taking years to develop, her highly realistic style will pull you into the story of her paintings.”

Making its debut on Thursday, March 24, this exhibit will run through April 26, at the PHSC West Campus Rao Musunuru, M.D. Art Gallery, located at 10230 Ridge Road, New Port Richey, FL 34654. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

“Having the Rao Musunuru, M.D. Art Gallery on campus gives us the ability to bring in a variety of artists and exhibits free of charge. It’s a great way to expose students to different art forms that they may not otherwise have access to and to share with visitors the great opportunities offered on campus. It also allows us to support local artists by inviting them to exhibit in our space,” said Library Assistant of Pasco-Hernando State College, Amirah Neely. “We are excited to be hosting exhibit openings again because it gives our guests the opportunity to talk with the artist(s)!”

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This marks the latest in a long line of auspicious exhibits featuring the work of this watercolor painter and graphic designer. Heidler saw her painted masterworks featured on a national stage recently, both as a showcased artist in the American Watercolor Society 155th Annual International Exhibition, celebrated at the Salmagundi Club in New York City, and as the recent recipient of an International Women in Watercolor Award. Through this one of a kind PHSC exhibit, Heidler brings her work home to Hernando and Pasco fans and art enthusiasts.

“In ‘A Watercolor Journey’ I have 17 highly realistic watercolors that range from tree landscapes to peoplescapes to a few portraits of humans and felines,” Karen shared. “I love painting trees as they seem to have their own personalities. My tree paintings are like portraits. Trees have untold stories just like that of a portrait of a person. The paintings are from journeys I’ve taken as well as the journey I’ve taken artistically to get where I am today as an international artist.”

Indeed, this particular watercolor journey takes viewers on an artistic trip around the world; par for the course for this globetrotting artist.

“I just returned last week from a trip to Greece and Italy, visiting ruins like the Parthenon, The Temple of Poseidon, The Colosseum, The Vatican City, cathedrals, monasteries and views that photos would never do justice. I am still processing the trip and what I want to take away from it, as well as deciding what paintings I want to produce from that trip. It is part of my artistic journey that I am on and I’m so thankful I had the opportunity to take the trip with my alma mater, Mount Vernon Nazarene University,” said Heidler. “I have a painting, Memories Like Butterflies, that is heading to Bologna, Italy to be in an art exhibit, Fabriano In Acquarello, in April. Bologna was one of our stops in Italy and I was able to locate the area where the art exhibit will be. It was exciting to be there even though I won’t be able to go back for the exhibit.”

Coming home to Hernando, Heidler is pleased to feature her work at Pasco-Hernando State College. “I was asked over a year ago if I was interested in exhibiting at the art gallery and I was, so I went to visit the art gallery to see what it was like. The art exhibit at the time happened to feature Dean Clovis Rusk from Brooksville,” said Heidler. “I was so excited to see his amazing work and was surprised that he was from Brooksville, because I thought I had met all the artists in the area, but I was so wrong. There are so many amazing artists in the area and I discovered even more when I painted one of the Mermaid Tale Trail Mermaids.”

Besides exhibiting at the PHSC Rao Musunuru Art Gallery, Karen Heidler’s work can be found online at www.karenheidler.com. Heidler said, “One thing I would love for viewers to take away is that watercolors can have a depth of color and intensity that reflect the array of human emotions.”

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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