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Tiger Lily Art Studios: ‘Six (women) in the City’

VERO BEACH – “Six in the City” – Tiger Lily Art Studios and Gallery’s newest exhibition, has a creative vibe going that’s never been stronger.

The six independent women working in a shared space include some of the most visible faces on Vero’s art scene.

While all of them are stretching their boundaries producing fresh work, three in particular – Linda Proctor, Shotsi La- Joie, and Julia Carter, have taken a leap into something radically new.

For photographer Linda Proctor, her most recent subjects include children in Bhutan.

“Photo District News,” a top photography magazine, recently accepted Proctor’s photo, “Child with Child,” of a Bhutanese boy carrying a baby on his back.

Chosen as a finalist in the competition “World in Focus,” it will be published in the March 2011 issue.

Proctor’s excitement was palpable as she talked about her recent trip to Kenya.

“I’m still high from the experience,” she said. “I look at my photos every day.”

There are close ups of Masai warriors, leopards loafing in the grass, a mother elephant, young ones in tow, and a herd of zebras, rumps to the camera.

The saturated color, composition, and intimacy of these photos is remarkable.

“It’s a different kind of shooting than I’d ever done,” said Proctor. “It felt like we were on a hunt, although we didn’t kill anything.”

She hesitated before taking one shot of Masai warrior, his hand raised to his chin, an array of red beads threaded with silver bands around his head, neck and wrist.

“I didn’t notice at first, but he’s wearing a watch,” said Proctor. “Then I realized he’s a 21st century Masai. Of course he’s wearing a watch.”

Like Proctor, Shotsi LaJoie’s latest work has been more than a year in the making.

Though it involved no travel, it did include a sizeable leap in her mind.

Beginning her artistic life throwing clay on the potter’s wheel, LaJoie has worked in virtually every medium, her work always representational.

Now La- Joie is painting abstracts.

“Abstract painting appears so spontaneous,” she said. “But when I started trying, there were so many elements to connect for it to work.”

For the past year and a half, LaJoie has focused on drawing and painting small pieces, “learning how to combine all the elements.”

In the meantime, LaJoie has created two sizable works, “Softly,” a 40-by-40 inch acrylic and “Bright and Cheery,” a 48-by-30 inch acrylic and oil pastel.

Both possess an undeniable sensuality.

LaJoie has relied on the guidance of two local mentors and abstract artists, Tim Sanchez and Gustaf Miller. Between the two, she feels sufficiently liberated to take risks, fail, and continue.

“I’m learning about line, shape, relationship and depth,” said LaJoie. “With abstract art, there’s no end and that’s hard.”

There’s nothing abstract about Julia Carter’s new fearlessness, whose work is experiencing an unprecedented appreciation.

Part of Carter’s heightened creativity may be due to a class, “Fearless Creating,” that she and LaJoie are currently teaching at Tiger Lily.

Carter will show three new paintings at The DK Gallery in Atlanta this June. Carter recently sold a painting to Emily Tremml, the artist and owner of The Palm House Gallery on Ocean Boulevard.

All this attention spurs Carter to paint nonstop.

More time for making art – that’s what Glenda Taylor wants.

The potter and sculptor’s newest work has her painting. Her “Owl Platter” beautifully captures a night awash by a full moon and the likenesses of two screech owls and four moths against an oak tree.

She has returned to working in red clay after a decade-long hiatus.

“It was for a commissioned piece,” Taylor said. “That’s what got me to order red clay again. The minute I got my hands on it, I remembered how much I always loved its supple feel.”

When asked what was the greatest change that she saw in her hanging and stackable sculptures, Chris Adams Johnson answered without hesitation.

“I’m less organic, more linear,” said the artist.

The translation: Johnson is using more cast-off construction materials and fewer of the sticks and vines that she has relied on in the past.

“Bitzenpieces” might be a gigantic, swinging hors d’oeuvre, but it’s actually a hanging sculpture made of discarded construction scraps.

“It’s semi-kinetic,” said Johnson. “Whenever the A.C. comes on, it turns.”

Finally, Sharon Sexton’s work isn’t changing; it’s the artist that’s different.

“I’ve calmed down a lot. But my own work is always nature. If I try to move away from it, I always swing right back.”

An example of this new calmness is “Valrai’s Garden,” a 48-by-36 inch oil on canvas.

Sexton captures the serenity of balance: a pool, plants and a hanging bird feeder with humming birds.

From the blue pot in the foreground to its match in the background, every inch is as well-proportioned as a Greek temple.

“Six in the City” runs until March 5. Tiger Lily is at 1903 14th Ave., (772) 778-3443, and online at

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