Thursday, February 21, 2013
I decided to learn what I could about the Maitland Art Center's Artist's in Action program. The program reflects the spirit of founder André Smith’s Research Studio and the current mission of the institution. This program provides non-residential studio space to established or emerging artists for the professional practice and research of fine art. This program is an exciting opportunity to interact with Center’s community of artists and art enthusiasts while working in this uniquely rich and historic environment.
A fixture at the institution for many years, the acclaimed Artist-in-Action program takes place at the historic Maitland Art Center (originally André Smith’s Research Studio). In Smith’s day, famous artists were invited to live and work at the Research Studio in the winter months, including luminaries Milton Avery and Ralston Crawford.
Whitney Broadaway grew up in Sebring, Florida and received her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts with a focus in Printmaking from the University of Central Florida in 2010. During her degree, Broadaway studied printmaking, ceramics, and the book arts extensively. She has interned with the Museum of Florida Art and Culture as well as Flying Horse Press. Whitney is currently the Book Conservator for the Special Collections & University Archives department of the UCF Libraries. There she is in charge of conserving and repairing material, as well as coordinating and judging the annual Book Arts Competition.
Whitney's studio at the Arts Center was bright and light filled. Whitney's recent prints integrate elaborate floral patters similar to work done at the turn of the century. One plate had delicate line work where she had to carve away the areas around the lines which takes amazing patience. As she worked on carving lino plates, she sang along with the tunes on her laptop. I began singing along as well. Pink Floyd began playing and Whitney told me about a video that had the Dark Side of the Moon dubbed over The Wizard of Oz and the music synced perfectly. A huge steel print press stood in the corner of the studio. It once belonged to André Smith so it is a historical relic. It has sat unused for years and Whitney is trying to let the Arts Center committee realize that the press needs to be used so all the working parts are active and lubricated. I felt like a bit of a dinosaur working next to this young artist, so I can identify with the idea that no matter how old you might be you should stay active every day. I hope the press wheel once again turns to create a new generation of prints.