As an Emerging Artist Grantee, I was paired with a mentor to guide and share professional insight as I create work and form relationships with the community of artists in Pinellas County and beyond!
I was happy to hear that I was paired with Brenda McMahon. After our first meeting, it became clear to me that I would be challenged and inspired by the example of her life’s work of community building while maintaining a sustainable art practice.
The application for the grant had many suggested questions about the mentor / mentee relationship. I wrote about how I wished to be paired with somebody who could share their business savvy. I consider myself a professional artist with a strong studio practice; however, bookkeeping, marketing, organization and community building are areas in which I need guidance.
I also wrote about my vision to engage community and create pop-up exhibits in non traditional spaces. I have a curiosity to curate installations that combine the talents of artists and visionaries that work in diverse media.
Brenda is a ceramic artist that creates gorgeous Japanese-inspired vessels and dimensional fine art wall pieces. Her work is so stunning it is no wonder that she has created a sustainable living by doing fine art fairs across the country for 26 years before settling in Gulfport in 2007.
In 2019, Brenda opened the Brenda McMahon gallery in Gulfport. She is passionate about creating and organizing studio and art tours which began when she lived and worked in upstate New York. She also has a background in journalism and has worked at NPR and brings clarity and grace while building relationships with artists and patrons in the community.
Please listen to this inspiring podcast to learn more about her passion for the arts and her enthusiasm for mentoring emerging artists. In this episode, you will also learn about the artist Madie Gotshall. Madie is a surrealist painter that Brenda is also mentoring.
First Friday Gulfport Artwalk this month will be buzzing with music and happenings. Every month, Brenda features the work a professional artist.
This month, March 3rd, meet artist Betsy Orbe Lester from 6-9 at the Brenda McMahon Gallery. Betsy has work in the Tampa Museum, Gulf Coast Museum and many corporate collections.
To learn more, click on the link below to view Brenda’s website, view her work and the work of the artists that she represents.
Brenda McMahon Gallery is located at 2901 Beach Blvd. S.
Gulfport, FL 33707.