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Bealls expanding line of Lovegrove painted apparel and merchandise

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Matlacha artist Leoma Lovegrove closed out 2013 with a splash. The Business Observer reported two days after Christmas that starting in January, Beall’s Department Stores is rolling out Lovegrove art on all sorts of products, from apparel, handbags and beach towels to drink ware.

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"Beall’s is expanding Lovegrove’s products in response to positive results from ladies’ tops adorned with her art that have sold well in stores this year," the Observer noted, adding that "Lovegrove’s success brings to mind Guy Harvey, whose fish now adorn countless shirts and other goods at stores such as Bass Pro Shops. His art is particularly popular among sport fishermen.

The new product lines build on the popularity of T-shirts that feature hand-painted renditions of Florida life including sea life, birds and Florida landscapes bursting with tropical color, vibrant tones and brilliant hues. “Bealls is committed to bringing fresh and unique merchandise to our customers," said Beall's Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Sean Sondreal when introducing the line in February of 2013. "We are thrilled to partner with local artist Leoma Lovegrove in an exclusive collection. Ms. Lovegrove’s striking depictions of our Florida lifestyle make her collection a perfect addition to our Women’s Department.”

Lovegrove is known for expressionist works characterized by exuberant strokes and a palette bursting with vivid tropical color. While she is popularly associated with Florida motifs that include birds, fish, palms and coconuts, Lovegrove easily adapts her quasi-impressionist style to both portraiture and entertainment art. Her subjects have included former President Jimmy Carter (whose portrait hangs in his presidential library in Atlanta) and Sir Richard Branson (whose portrait was commissioned for Virgin Airlines’ headquarters in London). The presidential library of George W. Bush also includes Lovegrove's work, as do the private collections of actress Sharon Stone and actor Jesse Metcalf.

Lovegrove maintains her gallery, studios and a botanical gardens in picturesque Matlacha, a popular tourist destination for visitors to southwest Florida. The artist holds a degree in illustration from the Ringling School of Art & Design in Sarasota, and has studied at ArtStudy Florida and the Guild de Beaux Arts and ArtStudy Giverny in France. She returns to Europe each spring to recharge her artistic batteries by sketching, drawing and painting in the cradle of the impressionist and expressionist movements.

Bealls Department Stores is a division of Bealls, Inc. Privately held since its opening in 1915, the Bradenton-based retail store now operates more than 540 outlets in 17 states under the names Bealls, Bealls Outlet and Burke’s Outlet. To learn more about Bealls, or to shop online, please visit BeallsFlorida.com.

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