From a Grateful Organization

Special Thanks to Our 2002 Friends and Helpers

Individuals, volunteers, other organizations, and gifted artists made 2002 an amazing year.

The Pinellas County Arts Council for the wonderful set of cabinets dismantled from the Craftsmobile. The Craftsmobile circulated throughout Pinellas County over the last five years to every elementary school in the county. Florida Craftsmen originally collaborated with the Arts Council on the Craftsmobile project, and the artists represented in this educational “gallery on wheels” were all FC members. As we continue to grow, the cabinets will not only be put to good use, but will bring back fond memories of the Craftsmobile and the thousands of students that witnessed and studied contemporary craft as a result. Thank you!

Mary Lou Cooley for her generous donations to Florida Craftsmen’s Permanent Collection. Mary Lou donated a large triptych fiberwork of her own, a wonderful Charlie Brown ceramic vessel and a ………

To our ever-present angel, Millie Brown, for the incredible laser-cut “hand and heart” ornaments she donated so that FC can in turn gift them to special volunteers or supporters. While vacationing in California, Millie had the opportunity to learn this laser woodcutting process, (she might call it her play day in “arts & crafts class”!) and even though we begged for more, she said “No way! These took all day to make!” We love her for her continuing thoughtfulness, nonetheless. We’re pretty sure if we flew her back to California she’d be happy to make 500 more! Ha ha.

To the past and current FC Board of Directors for jointly contributing funds to purchase a piece of artwork for the Permanent Collection at the 6th Annual CraftArt Festival this fall. The Exhibitions Committee unanimously selected an incredible sweetgrass basket by internationally-known South Carolinian basketmaker Mary Jackson. To make this sweetgrass basket an even sweeter addition to the collection, Mary was so honored to be part of the collection that she donated a substantial portion herself, allowing the Committee to select a beautiful piece worth much more than our wallets could actually afford. We are indebted to the Board for their generosity and belief in the importance of the collection and to Mary Jackson for her gracious gift to Florida Craftsmen.

To our wonderful CraftArt juror, Mary McElwain, owner of McElwain Fine Art Consultants in St. Louis, MO, for generously donating back 1/3 of her juror’s honorarium to Florida Craftsmen’s Educational Fund. We are honored and grateful to know people like you, Mary. What an incredible and delightful gift!

To Ann Allen and Mary Winstead, talented veteran gallery jewelers, for their thoughtful donation of a much-needed halogen lighting system for one of the gallery’s dark & dreary jewelry cases. What a wonderful contribution! Now all the work in the case by all of the artists shines the same way we think the two of you do naturally! Thank you both so much.

To the American Craft Council, Chris Crawfis and locally Emily Stehle, for providing special VIP tickets to FC’s Board of Directors to attend the ACC Sarasota show the first weekend in December. What a treat after a long board meeting! Many of us are already ACC members, so we even had a few left over to give to some of our hard-working holiday gallery volunteers and staff. Thank you all for thinking of us and for our long-standing organizational relationship.

And applause to Ralph Nurmela, Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High School Art Dept. Head, who took time out of his busy afternoon to come to the gallery and install Ray Azcuy’s huge mixed media (mostly vinyl) installation piece on the wall. It took Ralph two hours (we documented according to our watches!) and it would have taken the staff two days. We are ever so grateful! Please come back for the next installation in early January, Ralph! And make sure your good friend Ray thanks you, too…..

To Dale Hutchings, APR, a Business Volunteer for the Arts, who has already spent time with us at Florida Craftsmen as a marketing consultant. We are grateful for his creative ideas and assistance, and hope to institute some of his low or no-cost ideas into future fundraisers, advertising and marketing strategies. Thank you for your gift of time and energy, Dale!


Sometimes it is necessary to go a long distance out of your way to come back a short distance.
- Edward Albee