Ghost Stories Told in Fine Craft

"What We Fear Can Tell Us
Much About Ourselves."

Through October 21
Florida CraftArt, St Pete
Details here

Who doesn’t love a good ghost story? And right before Halloween, Florida CraftArt in downtown St. Pete brings the spooky stories and terrors of 38 visual artists to light.

Donna Slawsky, The Devil’s Work – stained glass, beads

The seasonal celebration of spooky stuff gets its start back with the ancient Gaelic festival of Samhain, marking the end of the summer and harvest season and the beginning of winter. Often associated with death, it was believed that the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead become blurred on that night.

Betsy Lester, Elder World – acrylic and collage on canvas

The Halloween tradition of trick-or-treating, candy, decorations and costumes and watching horror/slasher movies is popular with more than 70 percent of Americans who are expected to spend $12 billion this year, according to Statista, a German online research company and database.

Judy Heady, Gato Getaway – clay and acrylic paint

Florida CraftArt offered artists the opportunity to explore their thoughts about the Mystery of Life and fears about things that “go bump in the night” – translated into fine craft in this exhibit curated by Catherine Bergmann, curatorial director at the Dunedin Fine Art Center.

She posed the question, “Who doesn’t love a ghost, and who better to invite to the séance than a group of artists?”

First Place – Trent Manning, Moth. Man or Myth – found objects, wire, string, wood and epoxy clay

Works are indeed spooky, macabre and dark, and mostly serious. Some matter-of-fact… as if there should be skulls and body parts, death masks in normal places in your house. Ghostly and sacred spirits.

Richard Logan Screaming’ Jay Hawkins, “I Put a Spell on You” – photography, glass, metal

Memories of times past, night terrors and nightmares and hope. Some somewhat fun, humorous, entertaining and even beautiful, bringing a smile amongst the terrible sad stuff.

Marquise R. at Creative Clay, Ghost Night Open House – mixed media

I grew up fascinated by ghost stories, Ouija boards, those scary campfire tales (although I never went camping) and was a fan of Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone. Ghost Stories reminds me of the scary episodes that I would watch with my hands covering my face but my fingers spread apart.

Ivy J. at Creative Clay, Plague Doctor Rising from the Grave – ceramic and glaze

One night we sneaked and watched an episode when my parents were out. To this day, I’m a bit spooked staying at homes with very large mirrors in the bedroom. Yeah, spirits in the other world will come out and grab ya. I also close the closet doors before going to bed.

Addie Rodriguez, Superstition – shredded fabric, original photos, broken mirror pieces, matte board

FCA’s Ghost Stories weren’t so scary and not as frightening to me as anything I could have imagined. However, that might not have been the case if I had read through every artist’s statement about their otherworldly creations.

Pam Jones, Clown Dream 2 – fabric, paper, wood, repurposed items

So now on to our scary, not-so-scary walk-through of Ghost Stories featuring all media – metal, wood, stained glass, fiber arts, mixed media, print making, jewelry, sculpture and assemblage.

Eric Folsom, Herein Reader Lies a Benevolent Spirit – granite, bronze

It will make you think differently about life, death and how you live each day.

Detail, Trent Manning,
Moth. Man or Myth

At first glance, Trent Manning’s Moth, Man or Myth, appears to be a whimsical, fairy-like doll. But on closer inspection it gives you pause. It is an eerie Moth doll made of salvaged trash items.

Moths are associated with transformation, and often as messengers of death coming from beyond.

Second Place – Nick Reale, Out of the Wood – locally harvestedSpanish cedar, India inks

Nick Reale’s struggle to show life and the afterlife is conveyed in Out of the Wood. Here are two traditional wooden marionettes, one holding on with dear life to another standing, and passive, figure. We read that Nick’s ghost story is a very real and personal one.

Detail, Nick Reale, Out of the Wood

“No other piece in my career has cut so close to home. The piece is about my experience trying to save my brother my addiction,” he writes.

His brother died in 2003. Nick carved a wooden book to tell the story –”Brother One, Brother Two in a twist with a tree. Two struggling desperately to set One free. The danger! The risk! Hides from some to see. It lies deep inside the Sapsucker Tree.”

Third Place – Mark Georgiades, Ghost of the Abandoned Bride – metal steel and copper

Downright macabre. I’m fascinated by Mark Georgiades’s piece with a gaping blue mouth.

Detail, Mark Georgiades, Ghost of the Abandoned Bride
Honorable Mention – Janna Kennedy, Ghostly Memories – mixed Media, Civil War wheelchair, wood, dead objects, metal, liquids, natural objects

It looks like Janna Kennedy raided an abandoned mansion to create her large Ghostly Memories complete with a Civil War wheelchair, old photographs (some framed), tools, keys and lanterns, scissors, a spool of thread, an empty perfume bottle, magnifying glass and, of course, a grinning skeleton with long light brown hair dressed in Victorian clothes.

Detail, Janna Kennedy, Ghostly Memories

An antique store addict could spend hours browsing the chair and the old, natural and dead objects.

Honorable Mention – Janna Kennedy, Souls and Pharmaceuticals – 1800’s cabinet cards, 1902 pharmacy ledger and medical ads, 19th Century medicine bottles

Janna’s Souls and Pharmaceuticals is another interesting turn of the century piece set in a desk with a skull, photos, a roll of toilet paper, 19th century medicine bottles, pharmacy ledger and old drug advertising.

Detail, Janna Kennedy, Souls and Pharmaceuticals

Is that a real tooth, in Demeree Barth’s Tooth Reliquary?

Honorable Mention – Demeree Barth, Tooth Reliquary – mixed Media from found objects
Detail, Demeree Barth, Tooth Reliquary
Cindy Linville, Morning Mask – mixed media
Gemma Hobbs, Beware of the Jersey Devil – bone, bamboo, twine, metal, wood, paper, feathers
Joyce Curvin , Coffee with Old Friends – recycled wood, old films, photographs, paper, clay
Detail, Joyce Curvin , Coffee with Old Friends
Ed Derkevics, (Top) Burnt Offerings–3 Potions and (Bottom) Burnt Offerings–Jagged – mixed media, recycled found objects
Christine Renc-Carter, Night Messenger – mixed media monoprint, vellum, gold leaf, hand stitching
Elizabeth Neily, Dolphin Man – fiber
Kristina Gintautiene, Slava – birch cradle board, tissue paper, wax, oil pigments
Brandy Stark, Color Coffin – wood, alcohol ink
Honorable Mention – Polly Johnson, War Horse – paper, rubber-based ink, India ink, acrylic, wood, glass
Cooky Schock, Reva the Warrior – copper, gourd, paper, beads and feather
Katie Deits, Haunted by the Past – ceramic, cotton, pencil, acrylic paint
Erin Griffin, Nevermore – argentum silver, black agate druzy
Stephanie P. at Creative Clay, Monkey Dreams – mixed media
Honorable Mention – Alegrobot, (on bottom) dulcis vir

Cort Hartle, Puncture/Erupt – handbuilt ceramic sculpture

LA Finfinger, 3 Little Ghostesses – clay and glaze
Tyler Jones and Katie Deits, Junior Votive, Mama Votive – ceramic
Jennifer Rosseter, Lunetta – English Groellig porcelain
Traci Kegerreis, The Lost Lenore – mixed media
Demeree Barth, Remembering Sedlec Ossuary – clay, bullet casing, wood display stand, found objects
Karen Brown, Genevieve (pendant necklace, mixed media) and Elaine (earrings, copper, ball chain, wire, glass marble)
Francine Michel, Mysteries of Urraco Mesa – water mixable oil, collage and other mixed media
Janet Folsom, Apparitions – gauze, bandages, Eureka palm fronds
Coralette Damme, Hex Ghost Cats – linocut on Wood
Wendy Bruce, Breathe Out – thread
Samuel S. at Creative Clay, Ghost Buildings – mixed media

Through October 21
Florida CraftArt
501 Central Ave.
St. Petersburg FL 33701

Gallery Hours
Monday-Saturday 10 am-5:30pm
Sunday 12-5 pm

Honorable Mention – Shelly Steck Reale, The Fate You Choose – ceramic, wood, moss

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