Local artist Helen Sandow’s work is being featured during ArtSouth’s February exhibit at Perrine Community House, a continuing partnership with ArtSouth and the Village of Palmetto Bay.
Despite rains lasting all day into the evening, the opening night event was attended by more than 50 people.
Sandow’s first public exhibit of her work included 42 watercolor paintings of animals of all varieties. Some of the paintigs were bought by attendees during the evening. She grew up in Montreal, Canada and moved to Palmetto Bay in the 1970s, working for more than 20 years in commercial graphics and printing. She has lived in Mangowood for 44 years. Her favorite subjects are animals and scenes of nature.
She is appreciative of the ArtSouth and Village program.
“It’s marvelous because it gives me an opportunity to show my art off,” she said. “As a community, Palmetto Bay, there’s none better. There are people here who really go out of their way for the residents.”
Her painting hobby was an unexpected exploration of her abilities.
“When my husband and I retired about 10 years ago we went to Fairchild (Tropical Garden) to take a watercolor class,” she said. “I had never painted in my life. I’d done miniatures — for years I made miniatures — people called them dioramas or dollhouses, with fine detail.
But my hands became so arthritic from working with the small stuff, I switched to painting.
“My art teacher was so encouraging. He taught me the wonders of water and paint and I fell in love with the technique, so I was off and running,” she said.
She finds it relaxing, and she has sold some of her work, although that’s not her main goal.
“I am most content when I’m painting,” she said. “I am so engrossed in what I’m doing that I lose track of time. The most important thing is that somebody else enjoys my art.”
One of the attendees, village resident Marian Dahlman, definitely enjoyed seeing Sandow’s work.
“These are great,” Dahlman said. “I know how difficult a medium watercolor is, and these paintings are great.”
Stanley Kowlessar, also a Mangowood resident, likes the fact the village is supporting local artists this way.
“I came out to support the event and the community,” Kowlessar said. “I think it’s great we can get together for these events.”
Music was provided by Adam Cohen and Nicolle Martine of the group, “River Tramps.”
The next ArtSouth exhibition, “Fragments in Time,” will feature the work of Marcelle Zanetti on Saturday Mar. 21, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Perrine Community House is located at 900 Perrine Ave. in Palmetto Bay.
Helen Sandow can be contacted at 305-588-7653.