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Meet the Artists: Eric Folsom and Monika Watson

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Domain Home Accessories & Gallery will host its next “Meet the Artists” event with new art work by metal artist Eric Folsom and combined clay/painting artist Monika Watson.  The event will take place at “& Gallery” (3129 Beach Blvd. South in Gulfport) on Saturday, March 16th, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.  Both artists will be on hand to discuss their work and interact with visitors.  Complimentary beverages and hors d’oeuvre will be offered.


This “Meet the Artists” event will include several new pieces by metal artist Eric Folsom, a native Gulfportian.  Folsom undertook an artistic self-education by moving to Washington, DC in 1974 and studying the works on display in the city’s many museums.  He then undertook an apprenticeship with artist George Anderson in Virginia, becoming proficient in brazing and fabricating bronze and copper into sculptural forms and jewelry.  He returned to Gulfport in 1995.  His work has been exhibited in juried shows throughout the East Coast, and in 2007, he received the Pinellas County Cultural Affairs Professional Development Grant for Individual Artists, allowing him to purchase more tools and continue his evolution as a creator of metal objects.  His work includes functional pieces, including creatively-styled serve ware, sometimes
incorporating the iconic reptile of Gulfport: the Gecko.  He also creates jewelry, boxes, home decor and free-form sculptures.


Monika Watson will also present a large selection of new works during the evening.  Watson grew up in post-war Austria, and later worked as a commercial artist in France.  After moving to the U.S., she decided to pursue her dream of professionally exhibiting and selling her own art work, a dream that has come true.  She has been a resident of Gulfport for 11 years.  After several experiments with other media in an attempt to “texturize” her paintings, she tried firing and glazing various clay shapes and incorporating them into her work.  This has since become her signature style: acrylic paintings with an extra sense of liveliness from the sparkle and reflection of the clay pieces, changing as the light varies.  Sea life, scenes of nature and animals, and villages are frequent subjects of her work, imagined fancifully in bold colors.  Watson has recently been working
on pieces contained behind glass with a shadowbox effect, and will display some of these new works during the evening.


“& Gallery” is the recent incarnation of the additional space acquired by Domain Home Accessories in September.  Domain has been one of Gulfport’s most popular retail locations for over 12 years, offering “functional art for the
home” in its small, colorful quarters.  The new space is a dedicated gallery now showcasing the work of local and regional artists.  The work of nearly 40 artists is currently displayed and offered for sale at the Gallery.


Additional “Meet the Artists” events and openings are planned for “& Gallery” on the third Saturday of each month, during Gulfport’s popular Art Walk.   Artists and craftspersons will also be lining the sidewalks of scenic
Beach Blvd. during the evening.  Independent shops, boutiques, live glassblowing demonstrations and
classes at the Industrial Arts Center, live music venues, and Gulfport’s many popular restaurants are all part of the lively Art Walk scene.  Parking in the Waterfront village is free and convenient.  For more information, contact Daniel Hodge, (727) 366-4086 or email dan@igc.org.

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