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Gallery on First premieres Turn the Page

Contributing Writer

Published: Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Updated: Sunday, April 1, 2012 13:04

turn the page

Photo courtesy Mary Shaw

Debe and Kevin “KV” Abbott, two award-winning artists, will have their work featured in the “Turn the Page” exhibit at the Gallery on First until April 26.

At Gallery on First, fine art, friendly people and a collage of stories collide to create an artistic, welcoming atmosphere.

Kevin “KV” Abbott and Debe Abbott are two award-winning artists who are featured until April 26 at the art gallery.

After owning their own frame shop and gallery in New York, they decided they were ready for change.

“We were ready for the sun,” KV said.

Because of this move, the gallery has the slogan “Turn the Page” for this month’s feature of the Abbotts.

The Abbotts didn’t just change states, but also their business.

Owning their own gallery, they were able to stick to certain types of art. The other artists helped create the variety. Now, they are part of a gallery and must diversify their own types of art.

When the Abbotts first arrived in Florida, they needed a way to tell the time. Being artsy, and the term clock being too boring, Debe decided to create a “time machine.”

“What is a clock?” Debe said. “A machine that tells time; a time machine!”

What started as a means to tell time turned into an artwork she now sells. Debe began working on the clock, and customers walked in and requested them, so she made more.

Hypertufa pots became another form of art the Abbotts began experimenting with.

The hypertufa pots have an earthly look and composition. They embody more than just earthly characteristics; they resemble the work that both KV and Debe want to perceive. They draw most of their work from the natural beauty of the earth.

Debe wrote in her blog, “I consider myself mostly a landscape painter – even my abstract work is based on landscapes, or at least inspired by the natural world. Fields, flowers, trees, the sky – everything I see around me finds its way into my painting.”

“Turn the Page” has even more meaning than just the move from New York to Florida.

“Having recently relocated to Central Florida I am embarking on a body work that is inspired by my new environs. My work in the past was fabricated for me from my designs. This new work is hand worked and very organic, paying homage, in the abstract, to the Florida flora and fauna,” reads a sign written by KV.

Debe’s favorite form of art is pastels. Although she loves working with pastels, she emphasized the need to do them more often.

Lynne Davenport, an inspiring artist, loved the pastels.

“The pastel landscapes really caught my eye,” Davenport said. “I haven’t worked with pastels yet, but I may try them next.”

Charlie Ramos moved to Sanford because of the outstanding galleries and for his daughter, who is a freelance artist. He has purchased a few of the Abbott’s work in the past.

“I was blown away by their art,” Ramos said.

“I love it [Abbott’s work]; it adds variety and is very classy,” said aspiring folk artist Theresa Disney. “The texture and color really are remarkable.”

The art is only part of the reason people become repeat customers. The Abbotts have welcoming smiles and exhibit genuine care for people. They love the Sanford Art Walk, which occurs on the fourth Friday of every month, because they get to meet new people and make new friends.

“We love to mentor young and inspiring artists – all kinds from those who wish to make a career to those using art for marketing,” Debe said.

Great people, great art and a great time are what the Abbotts are all about.

“Art is who we are and what we wanted to do,” KV said. “We love meeting new people and making new friends.”

“People would say, ‘The Abbotts! We know the Abbotts, they are good people,’” Debe said about her time in New York.

The Gallery on First is located at 211 East First Street, Sanford, Fla. It is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and open on Sunday from noon until 5 p.m.

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