Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

New direction for City Hall art

“Art speaks to people, and that’s why we need it in our lives,” says new Brooksville City Hall Art Gallery coordinator Rachel Fogarty Oleson, 34.

Courtesy of MyPaperNow

“Art speaks to people, and that’s why we need it in our lives,” says new Brooksville City Hall Art Gallery coordinator Rachel Fogarty Oleson, 34.

BROOKSVILLE — Rachel Fogarty Oleson knows how much Hernando County residents appreciate art. And as the new coordinator of the Brooksville City Hall Art Gallery, she wants not just to heighten the viewing experience for visitors, but perhaps to expand their horizons by raising the bar a couple of notches.

Oleson, who succeeds Rhonda Hancock, who left the coordinator's job two years ago, admits she is still getting her feet wet in the part-time position. Today she will be on hand to greet participating artists for the gallery's Winter Art Exhibit reception, which begins at 5 p.m.

An ardent art admirer, Oleson, 34, said she is eager to start exploring a few ideas for when the gallery begins putting together its fall exhibit. Among her chief goals, she said, is to reach beyond the gallery's traditional Central Florida realm and attract other artists who want to exhibit their work.

"I appreciate the focus on local artists the gallery has always had," she said, "but I also believe it's important to branch out and bring something fresh that perhaps people haven't been exposed to. I think there are artists all over the state that would love to have their work exhibited in our gallery."

A reading and language arts teacher at Challenger K-8 School of Science and Mathematics in Spring Hill, Oleson is also a graduate student studying poetry and new media poetics at the New England College of Fine Arts. Married to noted Brooksville metal sculptor James Oleson Jr., with whom she owns the Oleson Gallery in St. Petersburg, she has been an art enthusiast all of her life and hopes to bring that perspective to the people who visit the City Hall gallery.

"Art speaks to people, and that's why we need it in our lives," she said. "One of the things that intrigues me about the gallery is that it brings the art experience to people who might not otherwise be exposed to it in their daily lives."

Oleson, who will earn $5,000 a year as gallery coordinator, said she wants to make the venue financially self-sustaining and perhaps even return some money to city coffers by hosting events such as juried art competitions and master artist workshops.

She also believes that public art can help to boost local businesses.

"I would love to see Brooksville sponsor a sculpture walk with maybe 10 to 15 works that could be changed out once a year," she said. "People are fascinated by outdoor art, and there are a lot of communities that have benefited from having it."

Logan Neill can be reached at lneill@tampabay.com or (352) 848-1435.

. If you go

Reception

The Brooksville City Hall Art Gallery will sponsor its Winter Art Exhibit reception from 5 to 7 p.m. today at Brooksville City Hall, 201 Howell Ave., Brooksville. Refreshments will be provided by the Junior Service League of Brooksville and the Hernando County Arts Council. The event is free, and the public is invited.

New direction for City Hall art 02/13/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 10:02pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Why are so few Tampa Bay houses for sale? They're being rented

    Real Estate

    Oreste Mesa Jr. owns a modest 40-year-old house in West Tampa just off MacDill Avenue. It's an area where many homeowners are hearing the siren song of builders and cashing out while the market is strong.

    Attorney David Eaton poses in front of his rental home at 899 72nd Ave. North. in St. Petersburg. He's among a growing number of property owners who see more value in renting out unused homes than selling them. 
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  2. In a word, Hernando school leaders say, first day was 'smooth'

    K12

    Over and over on Monday, school district leaders used the same word to describe the unfolding of the first day of school in Hernando County.

    "Smooth."

    Third-graders Teagan Ferguson, left, and Brianna DeLaine deliver attendance figures to the office at J.D. Floyd Elementary School on Monday. Superintendent Lori Romano and other district administrators toured a handful of schools and classrooms throughout the day,
  3. Looking Back: Diana, America's Princess

    Celebrities

    The Washington Post, in her obituary, called her "the most photographed woman in the world." She was loved in England for saying, after her divorce from Prince Charles, "I'd like to be a queen of people's hearts." Americans loved her for her work with charitable causes supporting victims of AIDS and landmines. Aug. 31 …

    Prince Charles and Princess Diana on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on their wedding day.

(AP Photo)
  4. Rays morning after: 5 mistakes that led to loss to Blue Jays

    Blogs

    We've already documented elsewhere what the Rays didn't do, how they failed to take advantage of a prime opportunity to win Wednesday's game, getting just one run after loading the bases in the seventh with one out and three of …

    Jake Faria make too many mistakes, the failure to execute costing him repeatedly.
  5. Unborn baby dies, two critically injured in Largo crash

    Accidents

    LARGO — Two people were critically injured and an unborn baby was killed in a crash that shut down an intersection on Ulmerton Road late Wednesday night, the Florida Highway Patrol said.