The popular Brooksville Main Street event ‘Small Business Saturday’ returns 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 28, when the business of beauty and artistic inspiration will be celebrated in grand fashion at the Hernando County Courthouse. On this day, the artists featured in the Mini Mural Project--consisting of 9 canvas tarpaulins painted by artists chosen by the Brooksville Main Street Design Committee, and hung on various public buildings around the community--will be honored; their fine artworks auctioned as the public gathers to meet the featured artists.
"Join us at the Courthouse to meet and mingle with the artists behind the murals and shop small with them!" read a related notice. "We wanted to give these amazing artists a chance to display and sell their artwork in downtown and host a Meet and Greet for folks to come out and meet the artists behind the canvases!"
The event will feature a ribbon-cutting event and a 1:30 p.m. auction for the mini canvas murals.
"The murals are currently hanging on buildings and will be up until November 28 (Small Business Saturday) when they will be auctioned off. And the artists will have booths at the Courthouse as part of our Small Business Saturday event!" said Natalie Kahler, Brooksville Main Street Executive Director.
Featured artists will be:
Justin Alsedek of Gypsea Arts, whose mural adorns the SunTrust Building. After graduating from Pennsylvania College of Art and Design with a BA in Fine Art Photography, he became a traveling quick sketch portrait artist. He has been taking on art commissions, mural projects, showing in galleries, creating personal artwork, and traveling to juried art shows.
Amanda Knutila, whose mural is found on the Jefferson Building, is an acrylic painter with a recent focus on mural work. She grew up in Northern Virginia and is currently based in Florida. She takes a lot of inspiration from the scenery around her and tends to feature nature and aquatic themes in her work.
Gary Duquette, whose mural appears on the Jefferson Building, is a watercolorist who has developed methods to paint with wine, coffee, and beer using traditional watercolor techniques. He has painted more than forty wall murals and has taught group and personal lessons in almost any medium. He hosts painting event parties throughout Hernando as well.
Lee Middleton, whose mural is found at Easy Street Home Decor, is a local artist living in Brooksville. He is a cartoonist at heart. He was a freelance editorial cartoonist for the former Hernando Today newspaper from 2000 until 2013 when the paper stopped publishing. His artwork now is on display and sold through Easy Street Home Decor in Brooksville.
Kaylee Rose La Placa, whose mural is displayed at Mountaineer Coffee, is a 26-year-old freelance artist born and raised in Brooksville. It was at Moton Elementary School, where art teacher Jodi Platt recognized her for her talents, that La Placa, knew what she was meant to do. Kaylee is now a graduate from The University of South Florida with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications, Advertising. She is also an art teacher at Entirety K12, located in Brooksville.
Deborah Elaine, whose mural appears at Easy Street Home Decor, was introduced to watercolor in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1985. She developed her own style by creating an abstract design focusing on looseness and making these paintings ablaze with color and brilliance. Many of her images are inspired by her love of nature and wildlife. She has won many awards in Fredricksburg, Virginia, and in Florida.
Jo-Anne Peck, whose mural adorns Patricia's Boutique, is a licensed Florida Building Contractor and Historic Preservation Consultant. Starting in 1999, she began working on the Tampa Interstate Study project which involved the relocation and renovation of 64 historic buildings in Ybor City. Then she and her husband took a side path and created Historic Shed, a custom design-build company that creates attractive garden sheds, garages, and cottages that complement historic homes, located in Brooksville. Peck has an undergraduate degree in Building Science and a Masters in Historic Preservation. She is Chair of the Brooksville Main Street Committee, as well as serving on several other volunteer Boards.
Cat Sanczel, whose mural appears on Main Street next to Main Street Eatery, is a native Floridian and lifelong artist who started her own online business, pourkitty.com, in 2018--after demand grew for her hand-painted custom beer growlers and glassware.
Nature Coast Technical High School, whose mural adorns Country Depot, boasts Level 4 students who are working on developing their entrepreneurial skills and their artwork. Each student creates their own mini-business plan, creating and selling their artwork and taking on commissions. They have an Instagram account as part of their Marketing and use their time in class to work together, support one another, and work towards becoming independent self-sufficient artists.
Also presenting their art at the courthouse will be Jessica Lynn and Nathan Spence of senOiH Glass, Spring Hill-based glass-blowing artists whose media range from sculptures to pendants, drinkware to animal figures, and glass likenesses of florals, seashells, and fantasy figures. Lifelong artists who create large- and small-scale works from a variety of inspirations, they are seeking commissions and hope to get more involved in the community.
"We wanted to include artists this year for both the public and the artists' sake. 2020 has provided many unusual stresses as well as financial uncertainty," said Kahler. "Art is food for the soul and we all need that right now so we are happy to connect artists, art lovers, and (hopefully) art purchasers!"
To learn more about the Nov. 28 Small Business Saturday event and the artists that are displaying art, visit Brooksville Main Street’s Facebook page or the historic downtown Brooksville website.