We Share Our Gratitude For Arts Educators And Celebrate Dr. Nicole Crane’s 2020 Florida Outstanding Art Educator of the Year Award

Dr. Nicole Crane is an art teacher at Elbridge Gale Elementary School and recently received the 2020 Florida Outstanding Art Educator of the Year Award from the Florida Art Education Association (FAEA).  The award recognizes individuals who have achieved the highest level of professionalism in art education and have contributed their services in an exemplary way to the FAEA and to shared professional goals.  The Rickie Report speaks with Dr. Crane about her journey and what everyone needs to know about the arts in our schools.  We have been grateful for the arts which have given us comfort during the Covid crises.  The appreciation of the arts begins in childhood.  We wish our readers a peaceful Thanksgiving and reflect on the gratitude that fills our lives.









D R.       N I C O L E        C R A N E




“I have fond memories of my teachers and the role they played in my life,” Dr. Crane said. I decided to use my artistic talent and become a teacher to share that passion with students.”




We celebrate Dr. Nicole Crane and the joy of creativity to her classroom!  She originally intended to become a high school photography teacher, but changed her mind during the internship she held as part of the certification process for art educators, in which teachers split their time between primary and secondary schools. She tells The Rickie Report, “After spending a semester interning in elementary school, I decided that was the level I would teach. Twenty-three years later, I am still grateful for that decision and I love my job.”


That gratitude and dedication to her profession motivates the instruction she provides to her students in her classroom. She also makes an effort to offer guidance and serve as a positive example for the kids she teaches, lessons they will take with them once they move on to middle school and beyond.  “I hope they have a love for art, creativity, and innovation,” Dr. Crane said. “Regardless of their artistic ability, I instill the value and enjoyment of art as it relates to their academic subjects, future career choices, and everyday lives.”









“It is an honor to receive the award and I am thankful for the support of my school and colleagues,” Dr. Crane said. “I can attest to the quality of our county’s art educators so it is a sincere honor to be nominated by my peers and selected by a state committee.”  From 2008-2018, she served on the board of directors of the FAEA, including a stint as president. Her high-level involvement in the field is no surprise, as Dr. Crane always loved art. From the time she was in high school, she knew that art education would be her chosen career.  One of Dr. Crane’s teachers, who she describes as “amazing”, supported her interests and helped her find college photography programs. This led to her completing a bachelor’s degree in photography, followed by a master’s and doctorate in art education from Florida State University.





Q  &  A      WITH      DR.     NICOLE     CRANE





TRR:  Why did you choose photography as your medium?  


Dr. Crane tells us, “I remember taking photography and loved capturing moments that would otherwise pass possible unnoticed. At the time, it was film not digital. The process of photography from taking the photo to developing and printing and all the possibilities it offered were what drew me to the medium.

TRR:How do your students access photography equipment?

Dr. Crane explains, “Over the years, we have received grants to cover expenses. The availability of devices has increased the opportunity for digital photography.





TRR: Especially since Covid, our teachers have been stretched to the max! We want the public to better understand the challenges you face, as an art teacher.

Dr. Crane says, “Kids still love to create. Whether we are in the art room using a variety of mediums or drawing together virtually, they enjoy the opportunity to express themselves. Students are resilient and will be stronger based on their experiences.”

TRR:Is there a way for the public to make donations to help in this effort?


Dr. Crane tells us, “The arts always welcome donations and financial support. Teachers have Adopt-A-Class funds and donations are always welcome!”

The Florida Art Education Association (FAEA) promotes visual arts education in Florida through professional development, service, advancement of knowledge and leadership. FAEA promotes quality instruction in visual arts education conducted by certified instructors of art. FAEA encourages research in art education, holds public discussions, sponsors institutes, conferences and programs; publishes articles, reports and surveys; and works with other related agencies in support of visual arts education.



Dr. Nicole Crane received her BS in Photography before she went on to earn her Masters and PhD in Art Education from Florida State University. Nicole is a National Board Certified Art Teacher and National STEM Certified with over 22 years teaching experience. She has taught in Palm Beach County for 14 years and is also a college adjunct instructor.  Nicole was selected as the 2011 Florida Art Elementary Teacher of the Year by the Florida Art Education Association and served on the FAEA Board of Directors for eight years including President from 2016-2017.


To be in touch with Dr. Nicole Crane:

Elbridge Gale Elementary

1915 Royal Fern Dr.  Wellington, Fl 33414


2011 Florida’s Outstanding Elementary Art Educator




For more information about FEAE:

402 Office Plaza    Tallahassee FL 32301

Ph: (850) 205-0068

Office Hours:  M-F 8:00am – 4:30pm







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

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

Rickie@therickiereport.com   561-537-0291

17019 SW Sapri Way   Port St. Lucie, FL 34986

Artists Of Palm Beach County Invites Public To “Member’s Choice” Exhibit And Issues A Call For Support As Art On Park Gallery May Lose Its Occupancy!

The Artists of Palm Beach County is one of the most supportive community arts groups The Rickie Report publicizes.  We must apprise the arts community about APBC’s latest struggle to maintain occupancy at Art on Park Gallery in Lake Park.  The Rickie Report shares photos from “Through The Camera’s Eyes” and invites the public to “Member’s Choice” Exhibit which will run from October 10 through November 16 with an Opening Reception on October 18, 2019.  We share VITAL information for YOU to HELP keep Art on Park Gallery as their home base.  It is a simple request for an email or snail mail letter of support.  Details are here.





Art on Park Gallery



For Artists by artists of all disciplines, media and price points

Open:   Monday through Saturday Noon to 6 PM

800 Park Avenue Lake Park, Florida 33403      561-345-2842



APBC Art on Park Gallery



Opening Reception:

Friday,  October 18, 2019

 5- 8 pm

Exhibit runs October 10 through November 16





To show your support, if you cannot stop by the gallery to sign the petition, please send a letter of support via email or snail mail to:


Or by snail mail:

Artists of Palm Beach County

Art on Park Gallery

800 Park Avenue Lake Park, FL  33403

You MUST include your name, address and phone number for the letter of support to be legally binding.


DEADLINE:  October 1, 2019




 Ed Munoz presenting Barbara Ziev with her First Place Award in front of her photo at the “Through the Camera’s Eye” Opening Reception.




Americans for the Arts Public Art Network Council states in their Green Paper: “Cities gain value through public art – cultural, social, and economic value. Public art is a distinguishing part of our public history and our evolving culture. It reflects and reveals our society, adds meaning to our cities and uniqueness to our communities… and builds bridges between cultures. The arts are also a fundamental component of a healthy community—strengthening them socially, educationally, and economically—benefits that persist even in difficult social and economic times.” Furthermore, data strongly indicate that cities with an active, dynamic cultural scene are more attractive to businesses and therefore act as catalysts for revenue and urban regeneration.




 Ed presenting Irma Friedman with her Honorable Mention Award



That being said, Artists of Palm Beach County, Inc. (APBC) is having trouble getting the support from the town of Lake Park to continue its occupancy of the Art on Park Gallery at 800 Park Avenue. They may have to vacate the premises in the very near future. The group has been there for the past six years and has been a great contribution to the town. With more than a hundred local artist members, the gallery is the home of over a dozen resident artists and exhibits works of artists from throughout Palm Beach County. APBC’s mission is to bring artists together to share and learn from each other and to offer the opportunity to the community to create an environment that encourages the arts.




 Ed congratulating Dennis Leon for being the Featured Artist for the exhibition




The gallery has been open six days a week from noon to 6 PM and has offered free programs including ongoing exhibitions, lectures, demonstrations and classes to local residents. It  has provided scholarships for students in Palm Beach Gardens High School and Jupiter High School as well as donations and sponsorships to Lake Park events such as the recent Back to School Extravaganza in which 10 members volunteered their time to distribute food, answer questions, and direct the hundreds of people that attended the event. The numerous exhibitions and solo exhibits over the years have included many that helped to raise money for various local charitable organizations including the Audubon Society, Busch Wildlife Sanctuary, and the Friends of the Lake Park Public Library. In fact, APBC collaborated with the Public Library on a number of occasions exhibiting work and providing presentations. A recent Art on Park Gallery exhibit, “Now It Is Summer.” displayed the artwork done by 7 to 12 year olds in the Lake Park Summer Camp Program who took part in an art event at the library with supplies donated by APBC.




They prefer to stay where they are!

All this is to say that the Artists of Palm Beach County hopes to continue its mission even if it is no longer housed in 800 Park Avenue. The group existed for a number of years before they occupied the Art on Park Gallery. Meetings were held at artists homes, or in other local venues, and space was rented for exhibitions. While the group can do that again, they are open to ideas of where to go, and they are reaching out to the community for help to find a new home if necessary.




In the meantime a call for artists has gone out for a Member’s Choice exhibit, which will run from October 10th through November 16th with an Opening Reception on October 18, 2019. Everyone is invited and the Artists of Palm Beach County is looking forward to celebrating the talent of its membership. Please mark your calendar and plan to celebrate with them.





For more information about these exhibits, classes, Art Salons, studio space or other events:

APBC Art on Park Gallery
800 Park Avenue, Lake Park FL 33403




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

Rickie Leiter, Publisher



17019 SW Sapri Way   Port St. Lucie, FL 34986


Boca Raton Fine Art Show™ by Hot Works™ Features Master Clay Artist, Gail Markiewicz

The Boca Raton Fine Art Show™ by Hot Works™ is coming Jan. 25-26!   Show Coordinator, Patty Narozny delivers high quality fine art and crafts as well as a “Budding Artist” exhibit for children grades 6 – 12, which is a large part of Narozny’s integrated education efforts.  The Rickie Report is pleased to share more details in this article and introduce Featured Artist, Gail Markiewicz.



Hot Works™ Presents:


Boca Raton Fine Art Show™

January 25 & 26, 2014

Downtown Boca Raton, on Federal Hwy./US-1 at Palmetto Park Road

Why Buy Original Art?





The Boca Raton Fine Art Show™ was voted #68 in the country in its third year, out of several thousand art shows nationwide. One does not need to be educated in art to buy art at the Boca Raton Fine Art Show™. The  jury members have already done the pre-qualifying of the artists, so you can be at ease knowing that any purchase made here will be quality work and that the artist in the booth stands behind it. 


Extra Large Urn with Fluted Top by Gail M

Extra Large Urn with Fluted Top by Gail Markiewicz



Whether it’s a large piece for your living or office space, or a small piece for the den or hallway, the only thing that matters is whether or not you like it and whether or not it fits your pocketbook.  Great art may be purchased at the show for as little as $20, with prices ranging from $20 to $2000 and up. There is something for everyone!




Medium Pocketbook by Gail Markiewicz

Medium Pocketbook by Gail Markiewicz

The 2014 Featured Artist is Gail Markiewicz, a Master Clay artist who originates from central Connecticut.   Gail tells The Rickie Report, ” My fourth grade teacher asked each of us what we wanted to be when we grew up and without hesitation I decided that I would become an artist. As the years passed my convictions only grew stronger.  It seemed it was not only a vocation, but some inner calling that I could not deviate from”.


Bikini Sculpture by Gail Markiewicz

Bikini Sculpture by Gail Markiewicz




After having tried sculptural forms of art, Gail began to create beautiful, nonfunctional vessels and she has continued this art form since 1985.   She explains, “Probably the biggest link from the beginning of my work until now has been my love for textures and pattern.  I have combined textured pieces of clay and juxtaposed them into interesting positions to form a patchwork design.  The shape of the vessels are very striking.  The colors highlight the surfaces creating a feeling of antiquity and futuristic dimension embodied in each vessel”.


Gail in Her Studio

Gail in Her Studio


Gail attended Southern Connecticut State University ( Master Of Arts), the Penland School of Crafts and the Massachusetts College of Art.  Her work is represented in galleries around the United States and abroad.  She enjoys showing her creative pieces at Fine Arts & Crafts Show and meeting people who appreciate fine crafts.


For more information contact Gail Markiewicz at  203-988-2020 or email clayplay15@yahoo.com



Visit hotworks.org for more information about the Boca Raton Fine Art Show™ on January 25 & 26, 2014. Event hours are 10am-5pm daily. There is plenty of parking at various metered street spots, 1st United Bank, HSBC Bank, First United Methodist Church, or St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church. More info at www.hotworks.org or call 941-755-3088.

For more information please Contact Patty Narozny,   Executive Director  Hot Works™, LLC   Phone: 248-684-2613 or 941-755-3088 or Email: Patty@HotWorks.org  or visit Website: www.HotWorks.org    “LIKE” us at Facebook.com/HotWorksFineArtandCraftShows



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

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

The Rickie Report

P.O.Box 33423

Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33420