Tonight in Tampa, Janet Echelman will be honored by the Tampa Bay Business Committee for the Arts. An excellent choice. Echelman is an internationally known artist, creating ethereal, experiential sculptures, often immense in scale, that transform with wind and light. She is also a hometown girl. Long before she became the artist now recognized for her aerial sculptures, she was a Gorrie/Wilson/ Plant girl.
That hometown girl just happened to go on to Harvard, become an artist and receive a Fulbright scholarship. She also exhibited in Tampa. Around 1989, right about the same time that Robert Rauschenberg curated an exhibition of her work, she was exhibiting in Tampa at One Tampa City Center. My neighbor, Joanne Frazier, and her husband, bought two paintings from the exhibition . He had discovered Echelman's work on the way up to the Tampa Club for lunch.
Frazier had read my profile on Echelman and invited me to see the paintings. They feature some of the same vibrant colors Echelman uses in her aerial sculptures. Frazier knew Echelman's mother and Echelman personally delivered the works to Frazier's home, "Janet is an old soul, she was so mature even then, you could tell she was very talented," Joanne said.
I thought Tampa readers would enjoy seeing these early works, from a hometown girl. Congratulations to Janet Echelman on her latest acknowledgement.
I take no credit for the background colors, the titles and dates are not available, but the talent is evident. Read my earlier profile on Echelman here.