Make us your home page
Instagram

Artist to exhibit flights of fancy

RIVERVIEW — "No mistakes, just happy accidents."

So reads a T-shirt worn by Blake High School arts teacher Lenny Cabanero-Harvey, with the smiling face of Bob Ross, the late host of the PBS show, Painting With Joy.

Cabanero-Harvey's happy accidents will be on full display at the Winthrop Arts Festival Saturday (March 25) and Sunday (March 26). Each piece will reflect how her art rose from a passion she discovered en route to a degree outside of nursing.

A dormant passion placed on the back burner for a more stable career, Cabanero-Harvey's art did not come to be until late in her college career.

"It wasn't until literally my junior year of college where I was a nursing major, and I hated every minute of it, that I switched over to integrated science and secondary education," Cabanero-Harvey said. "I took my required art class and the instructor asked me why I wasn't in art education. I had no idea there was a degree for that and it was perfect."

Now in her 16th year of teaching art, Cabanero-Harvey spends free time creating ceramics and sculpture that she says is whimsical.

"I found myself really drawn to artists that can make work look professional, but still have that raw, kind of childlike feeling," Cabanero-Harvey said. "That's so me."

Winthrop Arts' town artist, Bryant Martinez, who has known Cabanero-Harvey for nearly eight years, felt connected to Cabanero-Harvey when it came to community arts.

"I knew that she was the person that would talk that language of community arts with me," Martinez said. "Since that time she has been a part of the art festival or any art things out here, mostly through and with her students at Blake High School."

Through the arts festival, Cabanero-Harvey has been able to not only display her own work, but teach her students the logistics of being a working artist.

"I have them volunteer, I let them know that we have to set up our own tents, we have to talk to customers and make connections," Cabanero-Harvey said. "I want them to have that real-life knowledge that it isn't just making art."

Cabanero-Harvey will be showing two series at the upcoming festival— one of which is entitled "Things with Wings."

"A student in one of my classes said 'Mrs. Harvey, I feel like I can make anything in here,'" said Cabanero-Harvey. "She said 'You know, if flying pigs were real I feel like we could make them in here.' It was the best compliment I have ever gotten as a teacher, or just a human being in general."

The magic that she felt led to an entire series of flying animals that, in every literal sense, do not fly— llamas, giraffes, and of course pigs. But in Cabanero-Harvey's creations, they do.

"Her art is truly fabulous," Martinez said. "I respect her as an art teacher for what she does for her students but mostly I respect her as a community artist. She's someone that we're all very lucky to have in our community, sharing her gorgeous, top-notch art."

Cabanero-Harvey is just one of 30 local artists and artisans to be featured at the Winthrop Arts Festival.

"We have an application process now and I like that it's becoming a tradition," Martinez said. "These are artists that want to be in galleries and museums and have art dealers, so the fact that they're willing to do the arts festival with us helps us build this tradition."

Cabanero-Harvey's art will be displayed from 10 a.m to 5 p.m. on both days of the festival. Many flying pigs will be in attendance.

"When people pick up my work, I just want them to be happy," Cabanero-Harvey said. "There's so much crap in the world and I think everyone just deserves some happiness."

Contact Kelsey Sunderland at hillsnews@tampabay.com.

Artist to exhibit flights of fancy 03/20/17 [Last modified: Monday, March 20, 2017 10:46am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for July 30

    Events

    Tampa Bay Comic Con: Celebrity appearances today include Wallace Shawn (Princess Bride) and all are welcome to join the cosplay parade at 11:30 a.m. It runs 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tampa Convention Center, 333 S Franklin St., Tampa. $30, 12 and younger free. (813) 274-8511;

  2. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for July 29

    Top things to do in Tampa Bay for July 29

    Events

    Tampa Bay Comic Con: The fan convention's biggest crowd is expected today. Celebrity appearances include actors Kate Beckinsale, Rose McGowan and Michael Biehn from Terminator and Aliens. Doors open at 8 a.m. Tampa Convention Center, 333 S Franklin St., Tampa. $30-$40; 12 and younger free. (813) …

    Kate Beckinsale is appearing this weekend at Tampa Bay Comic Con. Miramax Film Corp (2009)
  3. Want to audition for Howl-O-Scream? Here's how.

    Florida

    How would you like a job that has you running all night, dodging punches and earning high marks from your boss if you make someone wet their pants?

    Lindsay Weppelman, a University of South Florida biomedical science student, plays a Zombie Bride in one of Busch Gardens' open-air scare zones at Howl-O-Scream 2016.  Photo courtesy of Busch Gardens.
  4. Tampa Bay Comic Con: Live blog, and 5 things to know before heading there

    Events

    Tampa Bay Comic Con returns to the Tampa Convention Center this weekend, expected to attract more than 55,000 like-minded nerds mingling with cosplayers, celebrities, artists and sellers of comic books and collectibles.

    Surrounded by the bridesmaids dressed as Disney princesses and groomsmen dressed as Marvel superheroes, Gwen Walter of Venice, Fla., kisses her husband, Shawn Walter, also of Venice, after their wedding ceremony on day two of the 2016 Tampa Bay Comic Con in the Tampa Convention Center on August 6, 2016. The pair got engaged at Megacon 2015 and were married wearing "Nightmare Before Christmas"-themed costumes. Two different couples were married in Room 24 on the second day of the Tampa Bay Comic Con 2016. ANDRES LEIVA   |   Times