Saturday, February 17, 2018
Events

At Winthrop Arts Festival, community garden and artist's new career in full bloom

RIVERVIEW — Brien and Katrina Hockman sat in their 12- by 12-foot booth last year at the Winthrop Arts Festival introducing the community to their life-inspired paintings and photography.

The couple met later in life and as a strengthening bond, Katrina urged her husband to chase his dream of painting at 51.

The couple formed a company called My Flying Onion. Brien, who hadn't seriously drawn or doodled in 35 years and works as a security manager for an insurance company, made the Winthrop Arts Festival his second show ever. The Hockmans plan to return for the sixth annual Winthrop Arts Festival from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Founder's Park west of the pole barn.

While My Flying Onion will be among nearly 100 entries from as far away as Ohio and North Carolina displaying oil paintings, ceramics, jewelry and other art, Katrina will be pulling double duty. After meeting artist and festival director Bryant Martinez at last year's event, Katrina has sown the seeds of the Winthrop Town Centre's community garden, growing fruits and vegetables for the Emergency Care Help Organization's food pantry that serves Brandon area residents. She also will staff the table for the community garden, entertaining children, educating adults and sharing samples of her homemade salsa that includes peppers from the garden.

After convincing Martinez that she would succeed where a few others had failed, Katrina Hockman planted the first seeds in the garden last May. She puts in 20 to 25 hours a week, including long Saturdays, focusing on high-yielding crops that also are healthy like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, okra, lettuce and all kinds of beans.

Martinez earmarked about 3 acres at an old dairy farm, and she took it from there.

"He kept clearing land and we kept planting," said Katrina, 47, "and thus the garden was born."

A citrus area with lemon, lime and other trees lines the community garden along with pecans and blueberries. In keeping with the artistic theme at Winthrop, the garden also features painted tires that will serve as strawberry planters, various sculptures and painted concrete pads left over from the dairy farm.

When she's not busy with her career as a registered nurse, Katrina is overseeing 12 new plots going into the garden. Since only a quarter of an acre is now being harvested strictly for ECHO, she is helping others with sections of their own.

"It is an investment of time, but if we believe in something strong enough, it begins to taper back," she said. "What happens is, we are not sapping all of our energy because we are divvying up our time."

Katrina organized about three dozen volunteers in the 10 months since inception, including student groups from Hillsborough Community College, Rasmussen College, and Riverview and Blake high schools, as well as Cub Scouts and special-needs children. She also has figured out how to reuse seeds and incorporate the benefits of composted soil.

In addition to direct assistance for ECHO, this year's Winthrop Arts Festival will raise money to benefit Hillsborough County Fire Rescue and book scholarships for HCC students. Local musicians and those from schools will entertain, and Winthrop's own Sketch and Sip will sell some leftover instructor paintings.

"I like the fact that we are beginning to develop a space that is a destination of the arts," Martinez said.

   
Comments
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Feb. 17

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Feb. 17

Bay Area Renaissance Festival: Highland Fling: The 2018 festival runs weekends through March 25 in a time-travel village of kings, queens, jousting, jugglers, mimes, madrigals, archery contests and a human chess match. 10 a.m., Museum of Science and ...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Feb. 18

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Feb. 18

Mutt Derby: Bring your non-aggressive dog for a day of dog races and other doggie games. Races will be done in weight divisions. All dogs racing must have proof of vaccinations. Greyhounds are welcome, but are not allowed to race. Benefits Greyhound ...
Published: 02/16/18
‘Hello, Universe’ and ‘Wolf in the Snow’ top American Library Association awards for books for young readers

‘Hello, Universe’ and ‘Wolf in the Snow’ top American Library Association awards for books for young readers

The American Library Association announced its 2018 Youth Media Award winners Monday during its midwinter meeting in Denver.The annual awards honor books, video and audio for children and young adults and are highly regarded guides for booksellers, t...
Published: 02/16/18
Review: Paul Goldberg’s ‘The Chateau’ sets sharp political satire in a Florida condo

Review: Paul Goldberg’s ‘The Chateau’ sets sharp political satire in a Florida condo

The election is fraught with wild allegations and vicious character assassination, accusations of corruption and kickbacks, misspelled messages and outrageous debates — and of course the Russians have their hands all over it.The 2016 presidential rac...
Published: 02/16/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Feb. 16

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Feb. 16

Kelsea Ballerini: Grammy-nominated country music star on tour with special guest Walter Hayes. 7:30 p.m., Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $38.25-$125. (727) 791-7400. Volta: The bendy people of Cirque du Soleil. Through Mar...
Published: 02/15/18
Updated: 02/16/18
Pasco County Fair kicks off with parade and plenty of family fun

Pasco County Fair kicks off with parade and plenty of family fun

DADE CITY — Everyone loves a parade, it turns out. To the delight of many, after a one-year hiatus, the Pasco County Fair will once again kick off Monday morning with the traditional parade in downtown Dade City. "We are very excited to have the para...
Published: 02/15/18
Updated: 02/16/18
Bar review: Valenty’s Lounge, part of Pasadena Liquors in St. Pete — who knew?

Bar review: Valenty’s Lounge, part of Pasadena Liquors in St. Pete — who knew?

Once, if I’d received a recommendation to check out a lounge attached to a liquor store near the beach, I wouldn’t have been in much of a hurry to check it out. But I’ve learned that there’s frequently magic in these places. ...
Published: 02/15/18
Local craft beer of the week: Process IPA, Calusa Brewing

Local craft beer of the week: Process IPA, Calusa Brewing

Not long ago, it was all about the West Coast IPA. California breweries like Stone, Russian River and Bear Republic built empires on the style, favoring a dry IPA base and mountains of resiny, intensely bitter hops to craft aggressive brews that laug...
Published: 02/15/18
Dance Moms star Chloe Lukasiak to appear at Florida State Fair on Saturday

Dance Moms star Chloe Lukasiak to appear at Florida State Fair on Saturday

TAMPA — Chloe Lukasiak will take on a different role than she is accustomed when she stops by the Florida State Fair this weekend.After all, the 16-year-old Pennsylvania-native and resident rose to fame on Seasons 1 through 4 of Lifetime’s reality te...
Published: 02/15/18
I sat through Disney's Hall of Presidents five times. It says more about us than Trump.

I sat through Disney's Hall of Presidents five times. It says more about us than Trump.

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Next time you’re at the Magic Kingdom, walk up Main Street USA and hang a left at Cinderella’s castle. Enter the faux colonial Liberty Square, with its exact replica Liberty Bell and "liberty tree" adorned with 1...
Published: 02/15/18