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Miniature art on display at LRMA
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Best of Show by Luann Houser, A Woman’s Touch measures 4 ˝ by 3 ˝ inches.
TARPON SPRINGS - The Miniature Art Society of Florida Miniature Exhibition at the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art will be on display from Jan. 20 through Feb. 10.

Enjoy a spectacular display of miniatures – not only paintings but scrimshaw, fired porcelain, and sculpture – including works created by some of the world’s finest miniature artists. With few exceptions, all of the art is for sale.

Approximately 800 works of art will be shown, from 204 artists, in addition to the society’s permanent collection of more than 100 miniatures. Also on display will be the Miniature Artist’s of America Traveling Exhibit.

The artwork is well lighted and magnifying glasses are available for the complete enjoyment of the small treasures. Most of the artists create under magnification, using a variety of mediums and methods and the tiniest of brushes for paintings.

Entries from 31 states and 10 countries provide a wonderful diversity of subject matter and framing techniques. Of the approximate 900 works of art submitted for entry in the show, a jury of award-winning miniaturists has carefully selected only the very finest for display.

Have you ever wondered how the artists make these treasures? Starting Tuesday, Jan. 22, through the end of the show, visitors may talk to and observe artists while they work. These artists are willing to demonstrate their techniques, whether oil painting or scrimshaw, pencil drawings or fired porcelain. Demonstrators will be from England, Canada, many U.S. states and local Florida artists.

Awards and a slide show of the award winners will be presented at an Awards Brunch on Jan. 20. The distinguished judge and award winning miniature artist, Kay Petryszak, resides in Largo and is a consistent lecturer on miniature art for schools, museums, and various organizations. She has also been a judge for many miniature shows in the United States and Australia.

Petryszak said, “Technology may be taking over the world, but an exquisite original work of miniature art still has to be created by hand. The talent, imagination, skill, and patience of these artists, continue to produce amazing and breathtaking gems. Bouquets to the MASF for always encouraging artists to raise the bar of excellence on their works.”

The award winners range in age from under 36 to 95 and are:

- Best of Show: Luann Houser, Aurora, Ind., “A Woman’s Touch”

- Judge’s Second Choice: William Mundy, Oxfordshire, UK, “The Royal Flueologist”

- Excellence in All Entries: Irina Kouznetsova, Quebec, Canada, “Venetian Carnival ”

- Best Work By A First Time Entrant: Ewa Buksa-Klinowska, Warsaw, Poland, “Krzys?”

- Best Work by a Young Artist: Anastasia, Baranoff, Murietta, Calif., “A Call From London”

- Best Cat Award: Brenda Morgan, Dardanelle, Ark., “Nala”

America’s “golden age” of the portrait miniature, about 1740-1850, came to an abrupt halt with the advent of photography in the mid-1800s. But the love of creating art ‘in little’ did not die. There was a resurgence of interest in the early 20th century – The Revival Period – and MAS members are carrying on in that tradition.

A testimony to the interest today was the Fourth Exhibition of World Art in Miniature at the Smithsonian, Washington DC in June 2004, with fourteen miniature societies around the world being represented, including the Miniature Art Society of Florida.

Other awards being presented to Florida artists are:

- Third in Acrylic: Tykie Ganz, Palm Beach Gardens, “Sea Treasures”

- Second in Oil: Markissia Touliatos, Tarpon Springs, “Vietnamese Bride in Ao Dai”

- First in Birds and Animals: John Brennan, Lutz, “Idyllic Ibis”

- Second Printmaking: David Hunter, Winter Park, “Ahijah – 7/100”

- Second in Interior or Still Life: Cheiko Bromley, “Gold Charm”

- Third in Transparent Watercolor: Dean Mitchell, Tampa, “French Quarter Light”

- Second in Historical or Mythical: Laura Von Stetina, Madison, “Dog Tired”

- Second in Drawing and Pastel: Anne G. Langan, Safety Harbor, “Jeweled Hibiscus”

- First in Drawing and Pastel: Melissa Miller Nece, Palm Harbor, “Three Dudes and Boards”

- Third in Mixed Media: F. Robert Fritz, Clearwater, “Today…tomorrow…yesterday”

The show will open to the public at the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art at 1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20.

For more information, call LRMA at 712-5762 or visit www.s­pcoll­ege.e­du/mu­seum.

LRMA is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m.

Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors. Children, students with ID and LRMA and MASF are admitted free.
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