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Cartography of the Soul last night at Soft Water Studios on Second Saturday

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The Second Saturday Art Walks in downtown St. Petersburg are going strong, getting bigger and better each month. There are so many galleries to visit that it can't all be done in one night.

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Click this link to download the map as a PDF for the December 14, 2013 and January 11, 2013 Holiday Second Saturday ArtWalk in St. Petersburg. The St. Pete Artwalk is brought to you by the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance, the St Petersburg Chamber, the Arts Association St. Petersburg Inc. and the Warehouse Arts District. (Scroll through the Warehouse Arts District Facebook page to get lots of details on the various venues participating and what they offer.)

Cartography of the Soul
Final night, December 14, 6:00 pm until 9:00 pm
Cost - Free admission
Second Saturday Art Walk
Soft Water Studios
515 22nd Street South, Saint Petersburg, Florida, 33712
Phone (727) 480-8754
Email: softwaterstudiosfl@gmail.com
Cartography of the Soul Facebook event page
Soft Water Studios Web Site,
Soft Water Studios Facebook Page
New! Soft Water Press Facebook Page.

Participating Artists:

Carrie Jadus
Mark Aeling
Femily Killer - Emily Miller
Marc De Waele
Joe Coleman
Paul Glass
Salvador Saint Germain
Carolina Cleere
Bask
Marc Levasseur
Sarah Dees
John Gurbacs

In the Warehouse Arts District, at Soft Water Studios, there was an art exhibit by some Tampa Bay area artists that interprets the idea of mapping the travels of the soul in a variety of media, including sculpture, paintings, photography and more.

Cartography is a mapmaking process that combines science, aesthetics, and technique. A seemingly pedagogic practice, a group of artists at Soft Water Studios are harnessing the power of Cartography to set sail into the innermost depths of a person's psyche. With an abstracted notion of Cartography, these artists visually map the uncharted depths of the soul, and in doing so, model its reality. - Show Description by Soft Water Studios

Mark Aeling is President of the Warehouse Arts District, and he has been working to help create more opportunities for artists in the community. Mark Aeling is a sculptor who worked in St. Louis for 12 years, then moved to St. Petersburg in 2005. His MGA Sculpture Studio has over 4,000 square feet and 25 foot ceilings in a large building that was formerly a cleaning company, thus the origin of the Soft Water name. Aeling and his staff, including artist Salvador Saint Germain, work on large public art sculptures. A recent project is a larger-than-life statue of Abraham Lincoln. This year, Aeling leased the other side of the building, doubling the space to 8,000 square feet, and named it Soft Water Studios. He built in separate studios and a gallery space so that other artists could join together to collaborate and share the space in a professional, mutually symbiotic working environment. The Cartography of the Soul show is currently hung in the gallery area. The gallery area can also be used for life drawing from a model, seminars, and other educational purposes.

There are twenty pictures from the exhibit in the slide show accompanying this article, and you can see more pictures and information in the photo album on the new Soft Water Press Facebook page. Soft Water Press is the name of the new printmaking studio at Soft Water Studios. A few months ago, Mark and Sal moved the printmaking equipment owned by Sarah Dees, which was stored in another nearby space on Central Avenue, into the building and set up a working, functional printmaking studio, which has become a new artistic place to "create and educate."

Artist Carrie Jadus is a lovely person and a very talented painter. She occupies a loft space in the building and she braved the summer heat and construction as Soft Water Studios was being built. "This is a group show that is a collaboration of all of us," she said. "We took two random words and thought we would put together a group show based upon those words."

Gesturing toward her large, 60" x 75" painting, (the largest size canvas she can fit in her van!) Jadus said, "I feel like our soul leads us on a journey. Our journey tells on us particularly through our hands. Whether you believe in palm reading or not, your hands map out your journey. They weather all of the adventures you have as you are going through life. They look like a map with all the islands and bumps."

"These are Mark's hands, the hands of a sculptor, with calluses and scars from years of making sculpture," she explained about her painting. Showing her charcoal-covered hands during a life drawing class, she shared her feelings about how her own hands are the tools with which she can express her artistry. She worked in the corporate world before becoming an artist, as an engineer sitting at a desk. She gave up a lot of material comfort by leaving that lifestyle, but gained herself and her soul as an artist when she took the definitive step to make art and sell it for a living. She is the mother of two young sons, and working as an artist certainly isn't easy, but she has found great joy in living her life as a professional artist, and she is becoming well known for her work.

Mark Aeling showed his piece, called eye-soulation, with its designed shadow on the wall, and said, "This is a piece I made specifically for this show. It's welded steel and welded hardware, all scraps of hardware left over from a garage, so it's really a recycled work of art. That's an aspect of it that I really like, because it's a miscellaneous hodgepodge of materials that have been repurposed. There are many, many layers of the piece, as a concept, a metaphor."

"I have a lot of layers of meaning in it that evolved as I worked with it," he said. "I wanted to get across the idea of the eye as a window to the soul. It describes the contour, like a topographical map of that part of the anatomy. The triangular planes are reminiscent of how a 3 dimensional computer rendering program represents 3D form. I like the dichotomy of old rusty pieces of hardware depicting this very contemporary process for representing 3D."

When asked what else he's working on now, Aeling said, "MGA Studios is working on some bronze dolphins for a St. Pete-based developer and a large public art project commission for a local health care provider."

What would they like from Santa Claus? "What we need right now the most is marketing," Mark Aeling said. Carrie Jadus agreed. "It's always a challenge to be looking for the next job while you are putting all your energy into doing the job at hand," he said. "It's an ongoing process. I've been building to this point for the past two years. I have over a half dozen jobs in the shop and with building Soft Water Studios, it's a lot to handle. I'm trying to get a network of good people set up, people I can delegate some of the tasks to. I have a great team in our studio now, though, and I honestly couldn't do what I do without them."

Emily Miller goes by the professional name of Femily Killer. "I was thinking about cartography and a map to someone's soul. I paint young girls and I wanted to show the brain as a labyrinth to figure out somebody's mind," she said about her oil painting, called, Female Brain Labyrinth. Her other painting, called, Girls These Days, "is the counterpart to it," she said. Instead of a labyrinth, even if it's confusing, its organized. This is almost the opposite, like a mess, unorganized. I'm not saying girls have a mess of string. They are perceptions of how society thinks of girls."

"My paintings are 100% reflections of myself," she said. "I graduated with a BFA in 2013 at UF, majoring in sculpture. I thought I wanted to try two-dimensional things to see if I could do it, and I've been here since June working on my painting."

"I want to build a national and international art career and eventually would like to go to Yale to earn my MFA," she said. "I feel that my work is very conceptual so I need time to develop an entire series to make sure my technical skills match my conceptual skills," she said.

Marc De Waele, who created the lovely aluminum and chrome sculpture called, 'Mystic Dance,' wrote, "My inspiration for my paintings and sculptures is based on the same concept; to capture emotion, feeling and atmosphere. My work combines old traditional techniques on canvas and in my sculptures. I love working with colors and contrast in my paintings that I create by using style elements, expressions, and textures together. Mystic and symbolic atmospheres are often common in my work. In my sculptures I am fascinated by shapes, lines, and the contrast between each other. Sometimes I combine different style elements together to express my work. I love working in large scale."

Describing her painting, Beauty Sleeping, Sarah Dees wrote, "In sleep we can fly. The soul is free to be truly unfettered, no longer bound by the worries of the real world. Free to be, in sleep the soul finds respite from all, the place of peace, where the soul can find its way home."

Sarah Dees and Carrie Jadus are preparing an education program for Soft Water Studios, so keep an eye on the web site and Facebook pages for details and you can become involved in the fun. Starting in January, there will be Fabulous Fridaynight Fineartmaking classes available, open to the public. There will be nude models, costumes, props, and art instruction, based on a well-known artist's style, and a different theme each week, combining BYOB wine and beverages, food, partying, and art making! There will be seminars for professional artists, such as a talk on selling fine art prints to the trade (Dees), and selling fine art through galleries (Jadus). There will be classes in Soft Water Press on fine art printmaking techniques, including intaglio, etching, drypoint, monoprints, wood and linoleum block printing.

Guest artist Carol Carter teaches a weekend watercolor workshop at Soft Water Studios on January 18th and 19th, from 9 am to 4 pm. She has a watercolor exhibit featured at the Second Saturday Artwalk, starting from January 11th, 5 pm to 9 pm. Call 727-480-8754 for more information.

Related Articles:

This article describes the Second Saturday Art Walk in great detail:
Trolley tour the Second Saturday Art Walk in St. Petersburg, November 9th, 2013

Shop Local Second Saturday Art Walk in St. Petersburg, August 10th

Enjoy Downtown St. Petersburg arts on Second Saturday Gallery Walk

Art Pool Rules - Second Saturday Gallery Walk, Downtown St. Petersburg, Part Two

Photomicrographic art: Paul Glass makes big impact on art in Tampa Bay

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