By Darla McCammon
It was my daughter Dee Anna, involved in helping with literacy, who helped me make the acquaintance of Kathy Stutzman when she worked at Warsaw Community Public Library.
Stutzman was always doing creative and inventive things to attract people to her literary world. I remember one of those times when she cleverly sculpted pages out of old, discarded hardback books. They were fantastic new creatures once she folded pages and connected the two backs together. I enjoyed viewing her inventiveness displayed in glass showcases at the library.
We are writing two columns on what has happened in Stutzman’s life and once again take you on an imaginary trip to Florida where this artist moved six years ago.
Stutzman tells us she always had a dream to be an artist but raising a family and holding a job prevented much of her ability to explore art until she landed in Florida. Her husband is on the road nine months out of the year so the time to take up art magically opened. As a Christian, she prayed for enlightenment and direction and, in her words, “asked my Creator to show me what he’s given me as far as artistic talent.” She began working in various mediums and others noted her talent. A neighbor persisted in encouraging her so she entered some pieces into a nearby gallery for a juried exhibit. She was very excited when “through God’s grace I had one art piece accepted — which sold.” (You might remember from my former columns that a “juried” show means only the best of the best even get accepted into the competition.)
There is nothing more gratifying to an artist than having someone admire your work enough to purchase it.
“I had to get past the mindset that I wasn’t good enough or that I was not a real artist,” said Stutzman.
She began delving into Encaustic art, which will be discussed in next week’s column.
She has now entered a number of juried exhibitions at different galleries throughout Florida, winning awards along the way. Two years ago, Stutzman won an honorable mention as an emerging artist in the Annual Women in The Arts, an Orlando-based competition with both national and international entrants.
Upcoming and Current Events:
- The Susan Ring exhibit at Warsaw City Hall will have a “meet and greet the artist” session from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14. Stop and enjoy free refreshments with her and take home a valentine painting to your sweetheart.
- Avon Waters has a gallery open at Plymouth Heartland from Feb. 4 through 28.
- “The Texture of Color” will be open through most of 2020 at The Brennan Room at the Gallery at Rua, 108 E. Market St.