Saturday, November 6, 2010

Art in the Street with a Side of Cold by Gidget Giardino

Today I bundled up and went out in the chilly 50 degree weather to view something I can never get enough of - art. For the past 28 years Downtown Gainesville has held a festival and art show that spans several blocks and has everything it should. There were paintings galore, gorgeous one-of-a-kind jewelry, fantastic wood crafts, amazing sculptures made out of all sorts of stuff (literally!), beautiful photography of everything from nature up close to architectual masterpieces, and unusual sculptures and glassart. Along with musicians, dancers, jugglers, etc.
The kids enjoyed puppet making, face painting and various other activities meant to attract the entire family. And, WOW, the number of dogs I saw there was incredible. Many of the booths offered doggie bowls full of water, and we saw one man carrying his very large and heavy Golden Retriever while the dog napped. (Wish I had taken a pictue of that.)

But, the reason I am writing to you today is.....
I want to share with you something I had never seen before. You already know, art comes in all sorts of shapes, sizes and mediums. Many times you see art that resembles someone elses work. Today I saw art that pictures will NEVER do justice. This artist takes a white material and starts applying thousands of super tiny squares of fabric. She builds her art up one teeny piece at a time and mixes colors to come up with a fabulous look that is so intricate a picture simply cannot show the beauty and patience. The stitching used is also in various colors and patterns. These one-of-a-kind works are accompanied by a very special poem. Special because each poem was written by the artists grandmother, Margaret H. Brooks.

The artist I am speaking of is Rhanna Nyman. A very lovely lady who took the time to not only explain in full detail how her pieces are created, but allowed me to take photographs. She even stopped to chit-chat about our names and their uniqueness. I felt I had known her a lifetime.
Visit her website:  It's worth taking a peek.

There I am. Bundled up in the white coat. You can't see the turtleneck sweater underneath, but trust me it's there. Boy was I glad, too. The large buildings kept most of the sun from reaching the streets where it would really have helped the masses to stay warm. Funny. Here in Florida, we would normally prefer the looming concrete structures known as buildings because we like to hide from the sun's rays. But, not today. Today was pretty darned cold.
There was another artist who deserves to be mentioned. Hugo Cruz is a self taught artist who uses other mediums aside from photography. What I saw today were photographs of typical things around us which we take for granted everyday, captured through an infrared lense. His infrared photos were absolutely gorgeous.
Visit his website at:

It was 38 degrees when I woke up this morning and I seriously thought about ditching the art show. I'm grateful I didn't though. I would have really missed out. The 29th Annual Downtown Festival and Art Show in Gainesville, FL was a treat for all who attended. (Even the dogs enjoyed it.)

1 comment:

  1. Thx for the sneak peek into how you spent your weekend, Gidget. AND, for sharing these incredibly talented artists. Can't even imagine the amount of patience that is involved in the creation of such art.