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Palm Room In Harbour Bay Plaza Invites Public To New Art Exhibit Thursday, March 5 Featuring Professional Artists Of Martin Artisan Guild

The Palm Room in Harbour Bay Plaza at Sewall’s Point, Stuart announces a new fine art exhibition on Thursday, March 5.  The Martin Artisans Guild will showcase seven artists: MJ Dowling, Cristina del la Vega, Zaneta and Dan Defelici, Jim and Tess Dirks, and Mark Stall. All professional artists with a long list of accomplishments, this promises to be a dramatic show of varied mediums!  The free exhibit is open to the public at the Palm Room from Wednesdays through Saturdays, with afternoon and evening hours. The Rickie Report shares the details and highlights each of the artists.  Artists will be offering free demos during this time.








The  Palm  Room in  Harbour Bay  Plaza

3778 SE Ocean Boulevard   Stuart, Florida



Gallery Hours:

Wednesdays – Saturdays:

Noon to 7 pm through the month of March



Opening Reception:

Thursday, March 5

5:30 – 8 pm



Complimentary Refreshments by Josephines

 Cash Bar



3778 SE Ocean Boulevard   Stuart, Florida (Across from Josephines)



MEET      THE       ARTISTS:




Cristina de la Vega


Cristina de la Vega tells The Rickie Report, “I always knew I was going to be a painter, enjoying oil as well as charcoal mediums. I love exploring wild places – uninhabited landscapes with no imprint of civilization.”  She received her BFA in Fine Arts and continued her studies with renown American landscape artist, Neil Welliver.  “My sense of space comes from actually being in the environment, which better informs me as an artist. It is one of the reasons I appreciate plein air painting”.





“Thunderstorm Coming” by Cristina de la Vega



Cristina’s award winning paintings can be found at the Geoffrey Smith Gallery in Stuart, FL and she teaches classes at the Artist Nook adjacent to Stuart Art Supply.  Available for commissions, she  is inspired to preserve the wilderness of our waterways and forests.  She works from small sketches, photographs, and memory.




MJ Downing

MJ Dowling merges architecture and art.  Having been instilled with a great love and wonder for the outdoors from an early age, she was inspired by her mother’s love for painting and her father’s passion for construction.  She pursued a Bachelor’s of Architecture degree at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh, PA. While at CMU, MJ also Minored in Art and took numerous classes in Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture. Upon graduating in 1987, she was commissioned as an Officer in the US Air Force and began a twenty-year journey serving her country as a Registered Architect.  During this time, MJ both lived in and visited numerous countries around the world and developed a passion for both environmental and urban design.  Following her military service, MJ worked as an Architect in private practice for seven years before moving to Florida in 2015.





“Palm Beach” by MJ Dowling




MJ’s abstract aerial paintings explore the relationship between the built and natural environments, focusing on patterns, colors, and shapes.  Her paintings often contrast the structure of the built environment with the fluidity of the natural landscape while capturing the essence of a place through the use of color, geometry, and motion. Merging her technical skills and unique interpretation of physical environments, her paintings bring a bold new approach to capturing the “spirit” of a place in contemporary artwork.  MJ’s three decades of experience as an Architect, and passion for environmental and urban design, are clearly evident in her coastal abstract paintings.   MJ met her husband Patrick while they were both serving in the US Air Force and today “Pat” runs BluH2O Art so MJ can focus on painting.





Mark Stall

Mark Stall tells The Rickie Report, “My fine art photography career got serious in 2002 using high-end digital cameras, video cameras, and my iPhone which is always close by. I love the freedom digital offers. I use the computer and apps to enrich my images and give them new identities. My distinctive work has won many top awards at leading juried contests in Wisconsin, including The Hidden River Art Festival Eddy Award (2012), several Cedarburg Art Museum (2014, 2015, 2016) Ozaukee Annual Juried Exhibition (2016) and The Milwaukee Intercontinental Hotel (2016)”.  



“Fog on McKinley Marina” by Mark Stall


Mark first picked up a camera at age 11 in 1968, using traditional photographic film and darkroom processes. His passion for photography was ignited! ” My passion is composition in architecture, everything nautical and in nature. Every day I capture images and experiment with post-processing to create vibrant and compelling statements about the world around me. With the computer, I give a single photograph many lives, shifting focus, changing colors and making it tell a completely new story”.  He has owned and operated Pro Studio Supply for photographers since 1988 and continue my fine art career in Martin County.  



Zaneta and Danny Defelici – 3-D Potter



Danny Defelici is an artist, inventor, robotic engineer, and an R&D specialist.  Born in Texas, he grew up in colorful Miami. He became interested in art in his early years and received training in metal sculpting, ceramics, and glass forming in Coconut Grove.Through inspiration and self-teaching he became the primary contributor to the design and development of the new industry of 3D ceramic printing.He spends most of his time running his 3D Potter company that produces 3D ceramic printers. Creating new ceramic pieces is his form of relaxation.He lives in Palm City with his wife and a teenage son.

3D pottery by Zaneta and Dan Defelici



Danny Defelici tells The Rickie Report, ” I create my objects with a blend of digital art techniques, robotics, and clay. The objects are first created within a CAD (computer-aided design) software. The same creative process happens here as if you were manipulating the pieces manually. In reality, I actually have more freedom and potential utilizing the CAD software program”.  He explains, “After the pieces are created, they are interpreted into a computer language the 3D ceramic printer can understand. When the objects are 3D printed, the manual manipulation and hand glazing come next.  I feel the need for creating. Besides 3D printed objects, I also invented the 3D ceramic printer I use together with several other models. I enjoy the pure freedom in digital space to create the objects the way I see them in my mind”. 



Jim and Tess Dirks – Stuart Stained Glass




Tess and Jim Dirks of Stuart Stained Glass Inc. have been creating beautiful Art Glass at their studio on West Ocean  Stuart since 1982 for the Treasure Coast and beyond. Their depictions of Tropical,Fish, Flora, and Fauna as well as their signature “Art Dirko” contemporary stained leaded, carved and etched glass designs grace hundreds of homes, businesses, restaurants and churches throughout Florida as well as many other states and countries. They work hand in hand to create their unique styles and designs. If you have an idea, together they will bring it to life.



“Orchids” by Tess and Jim Dirks



Custom Designs are their specialties. Jim was born in Washington state, moved to Maryland at 10 years old and came to Florida on a three week vacation in 1977. Tess hails from the Philippines originally  and spent time in Hawaii, San Diego and later arrived in Florida where Jim and Tess met. They started dating and while visiting the shop one day she  said “That looks like fun”. Now for over thirty years they have combined their talents to create some of South Florida’s most beautiful Art Glass. 



For more information about this exhibit, other events, or membership:

The Martin Artisans Guild


The Martin Artisans Guild was created to nurture the production of Fine Art and Craft, increase awareness of local art, facilitate development and networking among Working Artists and create marketing venues for our members.·        

  • To promote Martin County, Florida as a center of art.
  • To provide opportunity for artists to exhibit original work to the public.
  • To develop a sense of shared community and support among artists.
  • To foster the concept that success for one artist benefits all artists.
  • To present Artists’ Open Studios as a venue for purchasing art.

The group accepts membership of individuals without discrimination.Yearly Dues:

  • $35/year for Professional Members
  • $30/ year for Emerging members
  • $20/year for Student Members
  • $35/year for Supporting Members

ALL Guild members are required to serve on at least one volunteer committee.ALL NEW Guild members are required to be JURIED into the Guild; You will be accepted as either a Professional Level Artist member or an Emerging Level Artist member.

  • Professional Level Members will not be required to jury into future Guild Exhibits, Events or Martin County Open Studio Tour. Professional Level Members MUST be a member of the Arts Council of Martin County. Membership information can be found here:
  • Emerging Level Artists are artists who are aspiring to become Juried Professional members. Emerging members will need to be juried before each event/exhibit, and will be eligible to reapply as a Professional Level Member after 1 year.
  • Student Members MUST be students with a school ID Card or a student of a MCOST Teaching Artist.
  • Supporting Members are Supporters of the Arts in the Community.

MAG Membership Year runs 3/1- end of February yearly to coordinate with the MCOST schedule.



For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher   561-537-0291

17019 SW Sapri Way   Port St. Lucie, FL 34986



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