New Kids On The Block

Watch the next three days for blogs about the Winter Park Arts Festival! Stay tuned to the facebook page for related contests and you might win a certificate to a local restaurant. Art AND food? Now that’s a nice pairing! THANKS to the Parkpreneurs who help bring us this wonderful arts festival year after year!

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Among the crowd at this year’s Winter Park Arts Festival are three “emerging” artists participating for the first time.

A bit of an artist myself, I understand the apprehension and exhilaration which can accompany others viewing your work. Having visited with these guys and enjoyed their work firsthand, I think they can put any apprehension on hold, enjoy the enthusiasm which will surely be directed at them and their creations this weekend.

Stop by and see them in booths 416, 417 and 418 and see their work close up . . . and maybe take home one of their creations.

Nicholas Bain

Nicholas Bain traveled the farthest, so we’ll start with him. He described his participation this weekend as a “working vacation”.

Nicholas lives and works in Asheville, North Carolina. Asheville’s changed a lot in the last decade. (I grew up in Brevard, about 20 miles away, so I DO remember it back when, as they say.) It’s now HEAVY on artsy, with a thriving community of artists of all kinds. I talked about that with Nicholas, who learned jewelry making at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, just over the state border.

Nicholas Bain, of OldMan Studios, in Asheville, N.C., with his significant other, Allison Tippins, and jewelry creations.

Nicholas’ work is unlike any other jewelry I’ve seen. When you’re one who has created something yourself, often times that helps you in gaining perspective on the time and effort the creation of other works can involve. The pieces Nicholas creates are delicate, fine, and the parts and details minute. These do not happen overnight. But good things rarely do.

He most often uses sterling silver and notes that jewelry of the sort he makes is the ultimate “green” art, as precious metals are never discarded, will be melted down, reused, reborn. He describes his work as “minimalistic”, but likes to then surprise with “texture, a crunchiness”. A ring with a simple form, shape may then have an added flourish down the side. He speaks of immersing himself with it, in it, of his work being “rewarding to make”.

It’s his necklaces which really catch my eye. Lengths which are straight, solid and unbending hinged together via tiny joints. So simple in their lines, but will surely be dramatic when worn. Eye-catchers bound to receive comments and compliments.

As I was speaking with Nicholas another festival-goer approached, saying she was from InStyle magazine, inquiring about Nicholas’ possible interest in other shows in which the magazine is involved. I heard words like Smithsonian and ABC News and then saw Nicholas’ eyes widen at the possibilities. There’s jewelry and then there’s that jewelry you would easily deem to be art you wear. Nicholas’ creations are definitely the latter.

Stop by and check out his work, look at it closely and notice those small details and intricacies which truly set his work apart. It’s art you won’t just enjoy at home, but at the office, at a party, an event, constantly.

Tim Yankosky

Tim Yankosky is an ex-Californian turned Floridian, now living in Wilton Manors, just a tad north of Fort Lauderdale.

I was trying to locate the booths for the “new kids”, perpetually wandering in and out of other tents drawn in by this or that, bright colors, swirly images, eye-catching and dramatic, cute and beautiful, all sorts of stuff bringing me this way and that. Not knowing exactly where I was, I came across Tim's tent and thought, "Oh, I need to find this stuff later".

No need. I had finally managed to get where I was going, drawn in here by color and more.

Tim's work is fun, creative. You could try not to like it, but I don't think you could accomplish that goal. It's got some aspect to appeal to everyone. When I hear him talk about the early pieces and we discuss the evolution of his work, I had to laugh a bit since he's been at it since 2009. He says he's 51 now, and only started to express himself through his art in his 40s.

Tim with ‘Should Have, Would Have & Maybes’ . . . he names all of his pieces after songs he’s just heard, if the lyrics fit!

His earlier pieces are these delightful encaustic paintings. A simple, adorable goldfish painting is encapsulated beneath an encaustic (wax) bottle. Tim notes that he gives the bottles an aged or vintage feel, pointing to their “pock marks”.

At some point, Tim explains, he came across a cloth measuring tape, the type which would be used by a seamstress. A new tangent, direction emerged. His little goldfish began appearing atop the metal cannisters in which such tapes would be held (these are adorable . . . A-DOOR-UH-BLE!), while other, more recent pieces feature lengths of metal measuring tapes, some with, yes, goldfish. Art as created by the artist, I find, is the sort of thing which not only emerges, but can also double back to say “hi” to its earlier incarnations. Seeing how this develops with a specific artist can add to the enjoyment and appreciation of the work, as here.

The origin of the goldfish, Tim explains, was a fantail he had named . . . . uh . . . . Sam. He saw him swimming in his tank one day and thought: I’ve got to paint him. The birds he went on to paint, in BRIGHT red, go back even further, back to canaries owned by his grandparents. Tim’s fondness for red provided for a color change. You’ll find some painted on a long reed-like strand emerging from one corner and disappearing into another. Just as with the goldfish, the colors are so eye-catching, the composition so appealing.

Tim’s work is not to be missed. I’m in those middle years as he is, but some of his work has the ability to delight the inner-child which still lingers. Mine may now be romping around the festival all weekend.

Andrew Vega

Andrew Vega had the shortest distance to drive. He’s an Orlando resident, so you can check him out on his forthcoming website ( for new work and easily make purchases all year long if you find that ideal spot for one of his pieces later.

Andrew is part photographer, part digital artist. He takes these amazing photographs and then manipulates them, highlighting the darkness here, the definition there, contrasting and amplifying to develop pieces which may seem as if they were catapulted from a dream.

Andrew Vega standing with some of his amplified creations.

I’m more than a bit afraid of heights, so when Andrew talks about his favorite vantage point for his photographs being the tops of buildings, I needed a moment. But he scales those towers so that people like me can just enjoy the surreal view provided by man and nature, then accented by Andrew.

A group of four somewhat ominous black and whites hang on one wall. The clouds are dark, but fluffy, are a bit intimidating, but also relaxing. Storm clouds brewing in central Florida, photographed and intensified so that you feel the scene, not just see it. He explains that he manipulates the photograph based on what he felt about the image, his experience when he captured the images. So, the intensity of the image will be highlighted, amplified, modified with that goal. Another photo he has from the top of the Plaza building in downtown Orlando seems to capture my own feeling of heights . . . . curved, bending images, my fears and dizziness transposed to Andrew’s photo.

Andrew has worked as a videographer across Central Florida, starting to focus on his photography for only the last three years. His subject matter goes from industrial to landscape to a combo deal of both, with colors and intensity sure to make his work a focal point in any room it is displayed. This is his first show ever. Surely it’s not his last.

As I’m talking to Andrew a group approaches and many congratulations are expressed. I joke that it’s his fan club. Andrew says they are members of this family, and I joke that it’s his “fanily”.

With these amazing images and colors, dramatic creations, Andrew’s fanily is likely to expand significantly this weekend.

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One Response to New Kids On The Block

  1. Debbie Johnson says:

    I got a feeling we will be seeing a lot more work from Andrew Vega

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