Art came to life on Sunday for visitors at the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art who had the opportunity to meet the local artists whose pieces are sold at the Harn Museum Store.
Mindy Lighthipe, a botanical artist and natural science illustrator, and several other artists attended the Local Artist Trunk Show and Demonstration.
Lighthipe, a New Jersey native, moved to Gainesville a year ago. She previously worked at the New York Botanical Garden for 15 years, where she also taught classes in botanical art.
“Having my work at the Harn Museum Store has been an amazing way to meet people,” Lighthipe said. “It also serves as a great opportunity to expose them to my work.”
Life in Gainesville is a little slower paced, but Lighthipe is enjoying it. According to her website, she has spent time in Belize, Costa Rica, France and Italy.
Lighthipe said she uses a variety of different materials to create her paintings, including colored pencils and graphite. She also uses gouache paint, which allows more light to transmit through than a typical watercolor paint would allow.
The orchid is one subject Lighthipe enjoys bringing to life through her art. She was attracted to the unusual shape and bright color.
Lea Hale, a local jeweler, demonstrated how she makes her imprinted brass jewelry. Hale said her Cuttlebug Machine, which uses the pressure from the turning handle to make the impression on the brass, was a recent gift from her husband.
“It really is that easy,” Hale declared as she showed the completed brass to museum visitors. “I’ve sort of been ignoring my other work as I become acquainted with this new equipment.”
Although Lighthipe is new to the North Central Florida art scene, she had a solo exhibit at the Museum of Natural History from October 2010 to March 2011. Thirty-two of her paintings were featured.
“Through my art, I try to educate people about the fragile relationship between plants and animals,” Lighthipe said. “Many forget that it is a symbiotic and close association.”