Eduardo Gomez Rojas’s “Unconditional” Pays Tribute To Female Soldiers. Public Invited To Sculpture Unveiling On Sunday, June 3rd

The City of Stuart will unveil a second sculpture at the Distinguished Service Memorial Park on Sunday, June 3rd. This new sculpture, a bronze bas-relief by Eduardo Gomez Rojas, will complete the second half of the memorial monument at the entrance to the park. The Stuart Rotary Foundation contributed private funds for both. A working figurative sculptor, Eduardo has a studio located in Jensen Beach. His passion to share the deep emotions of a human figure stand out in this sculpture – a mother leaving her child as she goes to serve our country.  The Rickie Report shares the details of the event which is free and Open to the Public.  Special thanks to Eduardo for underscoring the dedication of female veterans and service people who preserve our freedoms.





“U N C O N D I T I O N A L”




Distinguished Services Memorial Park

300 SE Ocean Blvd     Stuart, FL  34994


Due to inclement weather the unveiling ceremony has been moved to Sunday, June 3 at 11:00 am



We asked figurative sculptor Eduardo Gomez Rojas to explain the artistic concept behind the second sculpture titled “Unconditional”; the artist commented. “A soldier leaves his home and his children to protect our children. I could not get this thought out of my head. In thinking and doing research for the second sculpture, I came upon the reality that many of the soldiers who are fighting and dying in today’s wars are women. In fact, Florida has the third largest population of female veterans in the United States. When considering these facts, it struck me that a Mom leaving her child to protect mine had to be the ultimate sacrifice. I became obsessed with this mental picture.”


Clay for “Unconditional” by Eduardo Gomez Rojas copyright 2018


The image above shows the clay rendition which was approved for casting at the foundry. We asked Eduardo to elaborate on the idea. “To make the initial drawings for the concept I asked a female officer in active duty to consult with me. She lent me her backpack, uniform and boots which were worn by the model who had a young child. It struck me visually that the size of the backpack was overwhelming. I felt that this was a visual metaphor for the size of the burden placed upon this soldier. The soldier is in a semi kneeling pose while hugging her child. I placed the child’s face on the other side, so as not to take the focus off the soldier. It also allows the viewer to visualize their own child.  The soldier seems lost in her thoughts as if she is considering the enormity of the situation. She could be praying. She could be leaving or returning. She could be thanking God for protecting her and her child… or asking him to do so. The child can be a metaphor for our nation or for our institutions. Why is she doing this? Unconditional love for her country can be the only reason. That is why the sculpture’s title is “Unconditional” “.


“Unconditional” by Eduardo Gomez Rojas copyright 2018


The first half of the monument is located in front of the flag, but the monument plans included a second complementary half behind the flag. The bronze sculpture on the first half of the monument titled “Above and Beyond” depicts two male arms holding the folded flag against the heart. We asked Eduardo to remind us about the idea for this work of art. Eduardo Gomez Rojas, said of the first sculpture: “My artistic concept was to depict service above and beyond the call of duty. When I thought of this, it was clear to me that only love of country could bring somebody to do this. I chose the arms hugging the folded flag as the metaphor for love of country, but even further for sacrifice for country”


“Above and Beyond” by Eduardo Gomez Rojas copyright 2017


This first sculpture which was unveiled on Memorial Day 2017, was very well received by the general public and veterans alike and has become an icon at the park. The purpose of the whole monument is to memorialize those local heroes who have given their lives in the ultimate sacrifice. Each year the names of these soldiers will be placed on the sides of the monument.



Eduardo Gomez Rojas is a local figurative sculptor and teacher. His work’s singular quality is its force and passion.  His studio is located in Jensen Beach, Florida. He does public and private commissions from small to monumental. His work is collected internationally. Eduardo Gomez: Silent Messages a book about his work was published in 2009. The book is currently available on Amazon.  His main subjects are people and animals. He particularly enjoys sculptural portraiture and memorial sculpture. He is currently a faculty member at the Lighthouse Art Center in Tequesta, Florida and has also taught locally at the Elliott Museum and privately in his own studio. Eduardo moved to Florida from Arkansas 10 years ago, where he was a cofounder of the Arkansas Sculptor’s Guild.





For more information about this sculpture, commissions, classes, workshops and other works of art contact:
Eduardo Gomez

Eduardo Gomez Sculpture Studio

953 NE Industrial Blvd

Jensen Beach, Florida 34957

Instagram: @eduardogomezsculpture
Twitter: @eduardosculptor





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

Stuart’s Premiere Art Festival Slated For February 27 and 28 Features Unique Handmade Fine Art And Crafts

On Saturday, February 27th and Sunday, February 28th, Stuart’s premiere art festival, produced by Howard Alan Events, Ltd. will offer a wide variety of artwork in an outdoor gallery setting.  Downtown Stuart will be transformed, as you walk the streets to see the eclectic art exhibits, meet the artists and artisans who create the functional and decorative art and enjoy live music.  This is event is Open to the Public and Free to attend.  The Rickie Report highlights Marijke Benedict (Clothing), Smadar Livne (Painting) and Lesley Reich (Pottery) and shares the details here.






26th Annual Downtown Stuart Art Festival

February 27 – 28, Saturday & Sunday

10:00 am – 5:00 pm





Osceola Street in Downtown Stuart

Navigational Address: 26 SW Osceola Street, Stuart, FL 34994





To Support the Arts, the Local Community and the Stuart Main Street Programs

Free and open to the public


On February 27 and 28, 2015, the 26th Annual Downtown Stuart Art Festival takes place. Over 250 artists from the U.S. will transform Osceola Street in Historic Downtown Stuart into an outdoor art gallery with original fine artwork. Enjoy an eclectic array of art in a myriad of media and styles as well as unique gift items. 26 SW Osceola Street, Stuart, FL 34994 – Saturday & Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  It is free to attend.






Festival patrons will be able to leisurely explore the exhibits set up along downtown Stuart starting at Osceola and St. Lucie, down to Haney Circle and continuing on Osceola to Denver Street and down to Detroit Street. The artists will all be present for the duration of the event and welcome the opportunity to discuss their work and creative process.  The exhibitors are selected from hundreds of applicants in order to ensure a superior event featuring diverse artistic media and the highest quality of original art. Only the finest local and national artists are accepted to this fine art festival.





Featured Artists:


Marijke Benedict – Clothing



Handmade Clothing by Marijke Benedict


Marijke got her initial inspiration from her family. Her father was a Tailor in Amsterdam who suited the Queen of Holland. Her mother’s family was in show business, and Marijke remembers the awe she felt as a child for the beautiful costumes she saw.  Once Marijke’s own creative juices began to flow, combined with the technical skills she learned from her father, the seeds of Stijfselkissie were planted.







Handmade Clothing by Marijke Benedict



She tells The Rickie Report, “We always provide clothing that is comfortable, constructed with beautiful fabrics, timeless cuts, superb craftsmanship, and are totally individualized at a reasonable price. All garments are pre-washed and pre-shrunk, and they will “grow and shrink” 20 pounds with you. Most pieces can go in a washer and dryer, are great for traveling, are mix-and-matchable, easy fitting, flowing, figure flattering, and very COMFORTABLE”!




Smadar Livne – Painting


Livne, S 061220#6, 12/20/06, 1:28 PM, 8C, 7620x11636 (792+162), 150%, bent 5 stops, 1/8 s, R21.0, G0.0, B21.0

Painting by Smadar Livne



Smadar Livne, an award-winning Israeli born artist, creates unique and exciting works at her studio in Owings Mills, Maryland. Educated at Haifa University, Smadar has degrees in fine art, literature, and architecture. She has continued her education of philosophy through Baltimore Hebrew University.




Painting by Smadar Livne





Portraying scenes from her life and learning is what gives Smadar’s work an edge. The work contains short stories, poems and philosophical observations. Her works are vibrant and exciting, expressing the joy that Smadar sees in life.  Bold, bright colors in a multi-level composition with fabric, paper, and embedded photographs, create a pentimento effect that is both a visual and tactile experience. Smadar’s work incorporates historic images in a contemporary style.



Lesley Reich – Pottery




Porcelain Bowl by Lesley Reich





Lesley studied with Professor Hui Ka Kwong at Douglass College and worked with Janka McClatchey, a well-known potter in Ann Arbor, MI. While her early pieces were functional stoneware, she moved on to porcelain.  She tells The Rickie Report, “Using porcelain is a lot like throwing stiff cream cheese. Many of my bowls and vessels are translucent, and they are all trimmed so they are light, thin, and well-balanced, making them a joy to use. By combining jewel-tone oxidation (electric fired) glazes and applying them on the pure white porcelain, I achieve unusual, striking combinations”.




Porcelain Bowl by Lesley Reich




“I found a way to merge my love of words (I was a journalism major at Douglass) with my love of pottery, and developed a line of wheel thrown bowls, vases, and vessels with hand-lettered inspirational messages. This led to a body of work that embraces my philosophy of life. I use my own words, as well as those of my friends, historical figures, literary and other public figures, and that great prolific author – anonymous. I also enjoy doing, and even encourage, custom work to create the perfect piece for your special person or occasion. In addition to writing in English and the romance languages, I have made special orders in Hebrew, and even Sandscrit. Finding just the right saying for each of you gives me great pleasure. Together we can create functional heirlooms to be used today and cherished forever”.


Lesley has exhibited and sold her work in galleries, department stores, juried shows and shops nationwide. Her pieces are part of the White House Ornament Collection and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Museum and numerous collections around the world.




Festival At-A-Glance:

  • Free Admission
  • Historic downtown Stuart – starting at Osceola and St. Lucie, down to Haney Circle and continues on Osceola to Denver Street and down to Detroit Street
  • Juried gallery style outdoor art showcase
  • Original Art
  • Handmade in America
  • 250 artists from 30 different states
  • Prices set to suit all budgets – ranging from as little as $25 to $30,000
  • Artists hand-selected by independent panel of expert judges from hundreds of applicants
  • All artists on site for duration of festival
  • Vast array of artistic media including paintings, sculptures, photography, ceramics, glass, wood, handmade jewelry, collage, mixed media
  • A portion of the proceeds from the art festival benefits the Stuart Main Street programs.


For more information:

About Howard Alan Events, Ltd.:


Howard Alan Events, a Florida-based company, develops and presents art and craft shows throughout the country. For the past 25 years, Howard Alan Events has produced some of the nation’s finest juried art shows, including more than 40 venues each year such as the Alexandria King Street Art Festival (Alexandria, VA), Downtown Aspen Art Festival (Aspen, CO), Beaver Creek Art Festival (Beaver Creek, CO), and the Las Olas Art Fairs, (Fort Lauderdale, FL). Several shows are ranked in the top 100 art fairs in the country by Sunshine Artist magazine. The founders personally select culture rich cities for their show locations providing a complete outdoor experience unmatched by other festivals. Each show is unique and features works of both established and emerging artists.



For additional information on the 26th Annual Downtown Stuart Art Festival and other Howard Alan Events art and craft shows across the country, visit or call 561-746-6615.



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

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

The Rickie Report

P.O.Box 33423

Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33420


Don’t Miss Marine And Wildlife Art Festival And Craft Show in Stuart! Spaces Still Available For Artists

The Marine and Wildlife Art Festival and Craft Show will be held in conjunction with the 8th Annual Martin County Nautical Flea Market in Stuart, FL.  The events take place January 9 & 10 at Memorial Park.  Visitors can go to two marine events on the same weekend at the same location!  The Rickie Report shares the details and is pleased to announce that there are still spaces available for marine, wildlife and nature artists as well as craftsmen. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet the artists and artisans who create photography, acrylic and oil paintings, serigraphy, watercolor, jewelry, clothing, pottery, woodcarving, quilting, metalwork, leatherwork and furniture. Celebrate handmade in the USA!  Free Parking!  Discount Admission Coupon in this article. Children 12 and under, Free admission.




job 21 1 update 2


Marine and Wildlife Art Festival


Craft Show

 In Conjunction With

8th Annual Martin County Nautical Flea Market



January 9-10, 2016

9 a.m. to 4 p.m.



 Admission $7. (Discount Coupon Below)  Children 12 and Under – FREE





Memorial Park    

300 SE Ocean Blvd, Stuart, Florida 33494




Event promoter, Larry Burdgick tells The Rickie Report, “Memorial Park is the perfect venue for The Marine and Wildlife Art Festival and Craft Show.  It is right in the heart of Martin County and offers the space we need along with free great parking for our guests. It is close to upscale downtown Stuart and makes “buying American” easy. You’ll have an opportunity to meet and support the artisans and craftsman who have created the work they are exhibiting”.




Marine, wildlife and nature artists and craftsmen will be exhibiting and selling their work, including:Photography, acrylic and oil paintings, serigraphy, watercolor, jewelry, clothing, pottery, woodcarving, quilting, metalwork, leatherwork and furniture.












For more information, discount tickets, vendor applications, special hotel rates and specific driving directions contact Under the Sun Promotions, Inc.

Visit the Marine and Wildlife Art Festival and Craft Show website:

or call 954-205-7813, FAX: 561-395-5389

For information on the nautical flea market go to:

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

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

The Rickie Report

P.O.Box 33423

Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33420