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Florida CraftArt presents: Rebel-themed exhibit and artists’ awards

For Immediate Release July 3, 2023

Florida CraftArt presents: 

Rebel-themed exhibit and artists’ awards

Exhibition Dates: June 30 to August 26, 2023


In the art world, what does it signify to be a rebel? The exhibition “REBEL” at Florida CraftArt features artworks worth almost $100,000, showcasing the perspectives of 27 artists on this theme.

“These artists have taken the concept of rebelling and created outstanding works that are thought-provoking, some are social statements, while others are humorous,” says Florida CraftArt’s Board Chair Tyler Jones. “All of the pieces are fine craft works in ceramics, fiber, glass, metal, mixed media, and sculpture.”

The show was judged by Brenda McMahon of the Brenda McMahon Gallery in Gulfport, Florida. “I have to say it is an outstanding show,” says McMahon. “It is hard to judge a show that is so diverse and there are so many amazing works of art in it.”

Best of Show was awarded to Joyce Curvin of Palm Harbor for “No Cage Will Hold Me!” It is a papier-mâché sculpture of a bird wildly breaking out of its cage that is embellished with defiant quotations.

First Place went to St. Petersburg artist Donna Slawsky for “Say Their Names.” She inscribed names of Black persons killed onto a repurposed cabinet door and used stained glass and found objects to create a mosaic of three people.

James Bennett of Lutz received Second Place for an innovative mixed-media wall sculpture called “The Double Arrow of Time.”

Third Place was awarded to Shelly Steck Reale of St. Petersburg for “Superheroes of A Certain Age (Hot Flash). It is one of a series of four poignant and amusing works created with ceramic sculptures, digital art in a comic book style, and wood.

Honorable mentions were given to Dave Flach, Mikhail Gubin, Samuel Hammer, Candace Knapp, and Elizabeth Neily.  Inverness-based artist Suzy Pease received the Director’s Choice Award for “Antebellum,” a ceramic and gold sculpture of an octopus and a shell.

Programming includes exhibition artists who will talk about their work, philosophy, and processes at 6 p.m. on July 13 and 2 p.m. on August 6. During the Second Saturday ArtWalk on July 8, people are invited to meet the new Gallery Manager, Michele Stone, who will also speak about the exhibition. All the events are free and open to the public.

The exhibition was made possible with sponsorship from an art-appreciating family in honor of our fine craft artists. The show runs through August 26, when the People’s Choice Award will be presented. People can vote for their favorite work of art in the Florida CraftArt Exhibition Gallery. Docent tours are available upon request. 

Florida CraftArt is located at 501 Central Avenue in St. Petersburg and is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. For more information, visit or call (727) 821-7391. Florida CraftArt is a nonprofit organization founded in 1951 and headquartered in St. Petersburg. Its mission is to grow the statewide creative economy by engaging the community and advancing Florida’s fine craft artists and their work. Fine craft art is presented in its 2,500-square-foot Florida Artists Gallery, and curated exhibitions are featured in its adjacent Exhibition Gallery. Florida CraftArt is the only statewide organization offering artists a platform to show and sell their work.

­­­CUTLINES (More images of work available on request.) 

  • 1. Joyce Curvin Best of Show.jpg
    Joyce Curvin was awarded Best of Show for ““No Cage Will Hold Me!”
  • 2. Joyce Curvin-No Cage-Best of Show.jpg
  • “No Cage Will Hold Me!” is a papier-mâché sculpture created by Joyce Curvin who won Best of Show.
  • 3. Donna Slawsky First Place Say Their Names.jpg
  • Donna Slawsky was awarded First Place for “Say Their Names.”
  • 4. Donna Slawsky First Place.jpg
  • 5. James Bennett Second Place The Double Arrow of Time.jpg
  • James Bennett won second place for a wall sculpture, “The Double Arrow of Time.”
  • 6. Shelly Steck Reale Third Place.jpg
    “Superheroes of A Certain Age (Hot Flash)” won third place for Shelly Steck Reale.
  • 7. Steck Reale Hot Flash Rebel.jpg
  • 8. Suzy Pease_Antebellum.jpg
  • The Director’s Choice Award was given to Suzy Pease for a ceramic and gold sculpture of an octopus and its shell.
  • 9. Rebels entrance.jpg
  • The entrance to the REBELS exhibition features a larger-than-life-size dress sculpture by Janna Kennedy of St. Petersburg.


Artists exhibiting in “REBELS” are James Bennett, Joan Clear, Kimberli Cummings, Joyce Curvin, Dave Flach, Eric Folsom, Janet Folsom, Mark Georgiades, Kristina Gintautiene, Gary Greer, Mikhail Gubin, Samuel Hammer, Janna Kennedy, Amy Kluth, Candace Knapp, Joan Libby Hawk, Richard Logan, David Mack, Elizabeth Neily, Suzy Pease, Nick Reale, Shelly Steck Reale, Gary Rill, Ellen Simon, Donna Slawsky, and Matthew Szidik.

Katie Deits

Chief Executive Officer

Florida CraftArt

501 Central Avenue

St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Office: (727) 821-7391 Cell: (561) 351-7904

Florida CraftArt is a statewide, nonprofit organization. Our mission is to grow the statewide creative economy by engaging the community and advancing Florida’s fine craft artists and their work. 

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