SIMEDHealth

SIMED Featured GFAA Artist of March: Barabra Lacy

Barbara Lacy, a Gainesville Fine Arts Association artist, stands in front of her acrylic artwork.

Each month, SIMED recognizes one of the Gainesville Fine Art Association artists featured in the SIMED central hub (4343 W Newberry Road) as the Artist of the Month. Artist of the Month (March 2018): Barbara Lacy

Lacy grew up watching her father create oil paintings.

After her father graduated from the Chicago Art Institute in 1928, he worked with a group of commercial artists on the Land O’ Lakes Butter campaign and later on Helen Curtis products.

 “I have fond memories of him painting at home while I asked him endless questions about his work,” Lacy said, “He patiently listened and answered me while painting, occasionally asking for some silence.”

Although Lacy comes from an artistic family, she wasn’t always a painter. After marrying her husband in 1980, his work as a congressional aide with Teleflex Inc. took Lacy’s family to multiple cities including Little Rock, Arkansas, Washington, D.C., Oceans Springs, Mississippi, Houston, Texas and a few others.

In her professional life, she has been the Vice President of Baltimore Public Relations Firm, taught elementary school and worked as an employment services office. She and her family settled down in Gainesville in 1990.

“As a young girl, watching my father paint and create for hours inspired me to pick up a brush after my children were in high school. Finally having a bit of time to explore art, I began painting landscapes and large floral pieces,” she said.

Lacy is a self-taught artist and has experimented with oil paints, watercolor and now paints with acrylic. Her two passions are animal activism and painting. She volunteers for local animal welfare organizations and regularly displays her paintings at shows across Gainesville. Although she has moved around quite a bit, she stays true to her hometown of Green Bay, WI, by remaining a lifetime member of the Green Bay Packers Fan Club.

However most importantly, says Lacy, she is a loving mother to her daughter, Julie, and her son, Bill, who enjoys drawing for fun.

Today, Lacy’s home studio is filled with floral paintings in progress as she works to create more art for the residents of North Central Florida, GFAA, and the patients of SIMED. 

SIMED Featured GFAA Artist of February: Barbara Wakefield

Barbara Wakefield, a Gainesville Fine Arts Association artist, sits behind her stained glass art.

Each month, SIMED recognizes one of the Gainesville Fine Art Association artists featured in the SIMED central hub (4343 W Newberry Road) as the Artist of the Month.

Artist of the Month (February 2018): Barbara Wakefield

Barbara Wakefield, stained glass artist, made her way from the cold of Wisconsin to the warmth of South Florida in 1968 where she flew high as an aerobatic flight instructor of open cockpit planes. She built a single seat Pitts special and earned a mechanic’s license. She then flew the open cockpit planes up and down the east coast of the United States before discovering pottery one night when she agreed to attend a night school pottery class with her persistent friend. Surprised by the feel of her hands in wet clay, Barbara threw herself into ‘throwing’ clay onto a wheel and became proficient in shaping clay vessels of various shapes and sizes. She grew to love color as she worked on glazing the clay pieces.

After years of successful festivals all over South Florida that involved Barbara hauling the heavy clay product around the state, Barbara transferred her love for rich colors from pottery to colorful stained-glass art. Seeing the light illuminate the rich colors captured her imagination and creative spirit.

Soon after arriving in North Central Florida in 1990, Wakefield completed a week-long private comprehensive workshop with an established area stained glass artist, Frank James. With an open mind for learning about stained glass, she absorbed all that he taught.

Wakefield translates interesting shapes from her natural surroundings into her appealing colorful glass art designs. Today her work is half and half – half her own designs and half available designs. The resulting pieces are colorful, attention grabbing glassworks. The way the natural light floats through her beautifully crafted glass pieces is a pleasure for the viewer.

Barbara mastered her craft, and she is still flying high on the enthusiasm of having her work in area group art shows and in the Gainesville Fine Arts Gallery on South Main Street where her pieces attract attention and positive comments. Her works continue to find new homes where they give their collectors daily pleasure and enjoyment.

To view Barbara Wakefield's art and the art of others in the GFAA, visit SIMED's Gainesville location today where you can see Li's art featured prominently in the front atrium during the month of January 2018. 

SIMED Featured GFAA Artist of January: Xiao Li

SIMED GFAA Featured Artist of the Month January 2018 Xiao li

Each month, SIMED recognizes one of the Gainesville Fine Art Association artists featured in the SIMED central hub (4343 W Newberry Road) as the Artist of the Month.

Artist of the Month (January 2018): Xiao Li

             My name is Xiao Li. I have a background in molecular biology, but my love for art can be traced back to my teenage years in China when my middle school classmates and I were all sent to the countryside (the coldest part of China) to be “re-educated by the peasants”.  Life there was hard, but what a beautiful place. It was like an oil painting coming out of the canvas of the Russian Masters. It was there that I started to learn to paint.  After long hours working on the fields, my closest friends and I would huddle over the smoking oil lamp and learn the basics of painting from a torn book. I still have some of my paintings from then.

            Those were hard times. Those were happy times.  Eight years from when I arrived in the countryside, the authorities realized they had made a mistake and brought millions of us back to the city. After leaving the 

Xiao Li Art: Sweet Berry Cafe. Xiao Li's art is featured at SIMED.

countryside, I kept myself busy studying in college, coming to America, and becoming a Molecular Biologist. I had not picked up a paint brush for over 30 years until recently when I retired.

            Like it’s been said, when a door is closed on you, look around and you may find an open window. I found my window.  I still remember how excited I was when I opened my first box of art supplies and held those paint brushes, canvases, and paint tubes in my hands.

            Painting has become like meditation to me.  When I paint, the world disappears. Only me, my subject, and my painting exist. The peacefulness is like a scent from burning incense, floating around me. I am happiest when I paint. I am also very happy to have found the Gainesville Fine Art Association (GFAA).  Now I am not alone anymore.  I am around my fellow artists. I can show my paintings and get feedback. But I still have so much to learn, and I am happy to work on my canvases. 

            You can view my paintings on my website: http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/xiao-li.html.  You can also contact me by email: xiao.0011@hotmail.com or call me at 352-562-1976. I will be happy to hear from you.  Your comments and suggestions are always very welcome.

To view Xiao Li's art and the art of others in the GFAA, visit SIMED's Gainesville location today where you can see Li's art featured prominently in the front atrium during the month of January 2018.