How many of you know that MacArthur Beach State Park is an ART destination in Palm Beach County? The Rickie Report is eager to share their latest news, as Florida Hall of Fame artist, Jackie Brice shows her work at a special exhibit that will honor environmentalist and animal artist, Janet Heaton! Read this Feature Story for more information about both artists and this wonder-filled area in our own backyard!
Florida Hall of Fame Artist
Jackie Brice to Exhibit
MacArthur Beach State Park
Janet Heaton, Animal artist
and Long-Time Environmentalist
9 – 5 daily through May 17, 2013
Starting April 10, 2013 MacArthur Beach State Park will be exhibiting and selling works from Florida Hall of Fame Artist, Jackie Brice. Ms. Brice’s works will be displayed in the Nature Center from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM daily until May 17, 2013.
Brice’s exquisite paintings capture the essence of the beautiful Florida landscape. She has painted landscapes in the Florida Keys to the St. Mark’s Wildlife Refuge and many in between. She believes that the greatest tool for a landscape artist is painting outdoors and that the artist must take the time and effort to truly study its subject. Ms. Brice’s subject for the past 47 years has been Florida. She has painstakingly studied Florida’s landscape, foliage, and light and her commitment shows when the viewer is transported to the beautiful locations she has visited and painted.
“My desire is to accomplish not only a true landscape painting but also a feeling,” says Ms. Brice. “When a person views a scene on canvas that I’ve seen on location, I want that person to be able to place himself or herself there,” she adds.
Jackie Brice, a native Floridian, is an award winning professional artist who has been painting since 1967. She studied for 11 years with her mentor and friend, A.E. Backus. Prior to her work with Backus, she studied for 10 years with Vela Boss of Miami, Florida. Her paintings appear in the permanent collections of many prominent Floridians, including Florida’s Chief Financial Officer and Mrs. Jeff Atwater, Sen. and Mrs. Bob Graham, and Rep. Clay Shaw.
Jackie’s paintings can also be found in the National Society Colonial Dames XVII Century in Washington D.C., the U.S. Sugar Corporation, the collections of the President and Vice President of Guatemala, and in the White House Christmas Tree Ornament Collection. On March 21, 2012, Ms. Brice was inducted in the “Florida Artist Hall of Fame.”
All art shows at MacArthur Beach State Park benefit the Natural Science Education Fund. The Fund was established to ensure the sustainability of the Natural Science programs, which positively impact the lives of thousands of children and adults by providing them the opportunity to enjoy and appreciate our natural world.
MacArthur Beach State Park Names
Janet Heaton 2013 Environmental Champion
John D. MacArthur Beach State Park has announced the winner of its Environmental Champion award as part of its upcoming NatureScaping and Dark Skies Festival, Janet Heaton. Janet received the award at the NatureScaping event on March 16, 2013.
Janet Heaton has been involved in the animal artist community and specifically at John D. MacArthur Beach State Park for more than 20 years. Through her immense efforts and countless volunteer hours she has raised more than $250,000 for the Friends of MacArthur Beach State Park and established the park as a venue for animal and wildlife art exhibition and appreciation.
Since 1990 she has organized exhibitions in the park featuring more than 100 artists and local and international art societies. Janet was the founder of Natural Selections Art Exhibition and Sale, a 10 year biennial event at the park by the International Society of Animal Artists. She has introduced new artists to the park who have, in turn, donated many of their volunteer hours to enhancing the exhibit hall and providing high end art, jewelry and wearable art in the Gift shop.
Janet laughs as she tells The Rickie Report in an exclusive interview, that she started this endeavor when Park Ranger, Leni Bane and a friend, Kim Chase wanted to generate some revenue for the young park back in 1993. All I said was “If you need any help let me know.” It took her and a full committee over a year to put together a well-thought-out juried show. She explains, “The art was juried in New York under the auspices of the Society of Animal Artists. We wanted to keep it as an exhibition and sale and have done our Biennial Show ever since.”
TRR: We share Janet’s comments with our readers not only because they give us insight into the person she is, but they frame the time during which she accomplished so much with so little support which we take for granted now.
When Art (Carton) called to say that I had won the Environmental Award…I was stunned and very honored at the same time. I thank you for this prestigious award and I will only accept it on behalf of the multitude of people that are responsible for me standing here today.
The people that I speak of:
The Park Staff
Board members of the Friends…
And a very supporting Community
You now know how I became involved….well… that is when all of these tremendous people stepped up to the plate to offer their time and service.
The idea of an exhibition/sale with the Society of Animal Artists came to me when meeting with Leni and Kim Chase in 1992. As a member of the society, I knew the artists’ work and thought to have their work represented here would be a perfect fit for the Park. I knew that the artists would be eager to participate since there was the possibility of selling something.
I will give you an overview and a little insight (of just one year’s work) as to what it took to bring these shows to the community….always with an unknown result and there were 5 separate occasions for the Natural Selections events.
After the Board voted to hold the event, contact was made with the Society of Animal Artist to secure a contract.
A Budget was determined for the event. Our Board selected a General Chairman…me…
We then created committees and assigned duties. Committees consisted of : Advertising and promotion – involved contacting magazine, newspapers, radio, various organizations, TV cable networks, …one Public Srvice Announcement ran for a year after the show was over…I think because the visuals of the art work were so pleasing. Leni had her hands full on this committee writing press releases, articles and securing volunteers to distribute flyers and posters.
Auction… me… was able to secure several pieces of Artwork for each event from the artist/exhibitors to be auctioned at the openings by a professional Auctioneer…volunteers were trained to help with auction. The auctions proved to be successful as one year…a painting of John Felsing’s sold at auction for $25,000.
Kim Chase was actively involved with the Design and printing of invitations, posters, flyers, catalogues. Biographies of exhibiting artists were created.
Time lines were a must not only for us but because of the artist’s schedules to submit work to be juried by the Society. The jurors meet and decide and then inform the artist which pieces should be shipped….if they were selected to exhibit. This can take at least 6-8 weeks.. At this point…there is one other person that I could not have done without…. my girl Friday on Tuesdays…Tesa Dytrych
Logistics – responsible for hanging the show – My dear friend who passed away several years ago, Gerry Hamzik was responsible to for creating an inviting gallery for the artists and viewers. The Exhibit room, Theatre and Lobby were dismantled to incorporate the art that arrived which involved The Park Staff in a big way….they worked tirelessly through out the year basically with every committee – no task was too large or too small for them and always with a can do attitude. They even made pedestals for the sculpture and arranged lighting. The Logistic committee was also in charge of the tram schedule, receiving, cataloging and shipping of art work and of all things…the physical arrangement of reception. That is a story in its self. Receiving crates of artwork, filling out a condition report and finding a place to keep the boxes and crates of 90 – 125 art works was next to impossible but they did it After the show, returning the work to the artist according to their specifications was a daunting task. Ask Larry Harjehousen. That is a story in its self.
Mailing – monumental task of creating, maintaining a mailing list and mailing of invitations…EJ at one point – in maybe the third show..said there is a company that can compile a list with address ON A COMPUTER. It was a god send. I believe that at the beginning we sent out 3000 invitations…
Reception – secure Caterer – worked with auctioneer, contracted entertainment, worked with logistic committee, secured volunteer greeters.
Sponsorship – searched for companies or indivduals willing to underwrite the event.
Volunteers – were involved in every aspect of the event…even husbands and wives of Board members….Don Bane knows about that. I trained volunteers to be docents and there was NEVER an hour that there was not a volunteer in each room greeting and talking with the guest about the art that they were seeing…they were knowledgeable about the artist since books were created with their biographies and the type of work that they did and they also encouraged the visitor to purchase to benefit the park.
One big thing to remember is: at that time in our lives…1992….we had no computers, only the latest fax machine…with thermal paper and no way to send digital images if we even had them which we didn’t…everything was snail mail and/or telephone/fax.
I have to interject this funny little story…about Leni…Half way into the year with the work that had been done…Leni said to me….Janet, what if nobody comes….I said Oh Leni, don’t worry about that…they will come. And after the art work arrived…she said….Janet, what if nobody buys anything. And I said, Leni don’t worry we will sell…little did she know that I had no clue either! I just had to stay positive and happy.
Each committee reported at the monthly Board meetings…sometimes the meetings lasted over 2 hours…the last month prior to the opening…we held meetings WEEKLY for several hours…! I think the Board was ready to kill me…but they were delighted with the now transformed Nature Center into a gallery of beautiful works of art and they were eager to get the show on the road.
The first show was financially successful selling over $90,000 of art work. Long after the show was over, visitors would often ask if we were going to have “The Art Show again”. Since nothing succeeds like success…we took a year off to let the Park get back to normal, take a breather ourselves and then started in again on the year long planning and work ahead. This occurred 5 times… benefiting the Park with $250,000 to begin their projects So we must draw the conclusion that this Park has never been afraid of hard work and plenty of planning…it still exists today and is what makes John D. MacArthur Beach State Park a jewel in the crown of Florida State Parks.
Janet is an accomplished artist and tireless volunteer who truly loves the park. In addition to her artistic endeavors on behalf of the Park and Palm Beach County community, she has been a dedicated and creative member of the Board of Directors of the Friends of MacArthur Beach State Park and the Nature Foundation.
Florida native, Janet Heaton has been fascinated by nature all of her life. The images that dominate her artistic endeavors are birds and mammals of Africa and North America. Heaton has traveled to many parts of Africa and India to photograph, paint and research her wildlife subjects. “Given a choice of any subject in the world, I would select the African elephant without hesitation”, she says.
Heaton tells The Rickie Report, “I was around 40 and my children were in school. A neighbor who owned an art gallery invited me to come and paint. I had no formal training and was really intimidated! I started off with oil paintings of nighthawks and with the support of my friends and family members, I moved on to animals. Then my work started selling. I remember bringing two framed pieces of my elephants to Perry Como’s wife.”
Janet enjoys using watercolor, oil and pastel to portray the animals She says, “Each medium produces different results…from the very delicate to the strongest and most powerful animal. I find that the subject lends itself to a particular medium.”
Janet tells The Rickie Report about one of her 14 trips to Africa. She spent time there to do research as well as take photographs. At one point, a rogue male elephant tried to charge a group of photographers, which included Janet’s brother, earlier in the day. While Janet was with her team later in the day, this same elephant began chasing them! Her driver went zigging and zagging through the bush to try to get away, but the elephant kept coming! Janet says, “Let me tell you that 10 minutes feels like a life time, until he just finally stopped!”
When asked what she would like to see for the future of MacArthur Beach State Park and Nature Foundation, Janet was direct as well as philosophical. “People cannot live without art. It is part of our human nature. I want people to realize that coming to MacArthur is no different than going to a museum or gallery when they want to experience art. The gallery within the Park gives you an innate feeling of sharing art with everyone. Come. Look. Open your eyes. Art is more than entertainment. Art is part of your life! I want people to know that MacArthur provides an opportunity and insight to see animals in their environment. I hope people will buy pieces of art so they live with them. Art is more than just seeing on walls of a gallery or museum. I believe everyone can paint – they just have to try! I want to encourage people to get out and experience the physical world…see how a tree makes a shadow… how a branch moves as a bird take off…how the leaves blow in the wind.”
Heaton has received numerous awards and recognition for her animal art and photography and has exhibited at national and international museums. Her collectors are located throughout the United States, as well as Europe and Africa.
As a Signature Member of the Society of Animal Artists, Florida Watercolor Society, Pastel Society of American and Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club, she has exhibited from New York City’s National Arts Club to East Africa’s Mount Kenya Safari Club. Heaton is also included in Who’s Who of American Women, Who’s Who in American Art, Who’s Who in the South and Southwest, Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World.
Janet is an environmental champion. She knows the Real Florida. She has lived it. By introducing others through the medium of art to the Real Florida, she is helping to preserve our heritage.
About John D.MacArthur Beach State Park:
John D. MacArthur Beach State Park, Palm Beach County’s only state park, is situated on a barrier island between the Atlantic Ocean and the Lake Worth Lagoon. The Park is made up of 438 acres of pristine coastal land and contains four different communities or habitats including seven species of plants and twenty-two species of animals on the endangered or threatened list. MacArthur Beach is truly an “Island in Time.”
Janice Kerber tells us more about the The Nature Classroom. “It
is a wonderful outdoor learning experience, in an
environment that exists nowhere else in Palm Beach County. Our programs are designed to meet the Next Generation Science Standards for kindergarten through grade 12. Each program combines exploration of the area, and age-appropriate hands-on activities and may include a tour of the environmental exhibits. Our goal is to instill an understanding of and appreciation for coastal southeast Florida’s plant and animal communities.”
Janice explains, ” So far this year we have served 3,275 children. For the 2011-2012 school term we served 3558- we will exceed this number in mid- April with a full calendar until May 29th. “
The Rickie Report urges you to go and experience the wonders we have in our backyard. Nature, art, environment and education. MacArthur Beach State Park offers so much!
To reach Janet Heaton email Heatonstudio@aol.com or www.paintingsofwildlife.com. For more information about MacArthur State Beach Park contact: Cheryl A. Houghtelin Friends of MacArthur Beach State Park 561.776.7449 firstname.lastname@example.org www.macarthurbeach.org
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Rickie Leiter, Publisher
The Rickie Report
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33420