Make us your home page

Surface design art on display at Clearwater Main Library

CLEARWATER — Of all the art exhibits going on in the Tampa Bay area this summer, this one is certainly the sweetest.

"Home Is Where the Art Is," an exhibit by the Tampa Bay Surface Design Guild, and "The Gardens: Brenda Schlechter One Woman Show" run inside the Osceola and Carnegie galleries at the Clearwater Main Library through Aug. 27.

For the uninitiated, surface design artisans treat fabric, paper or other materials as canvases to be dyed, painted, stamped, bleached, stitched, embossed or otherwise manipulated.

The beauty of this art form is that it is pure and from the heart. It's all about experimentation and imagination.

"Surface design is not about the technique. It's not about the perfection of the technique. It's about your creativity and interaction with materials," said Sarah Butz, exhibit chairwoman.

Featured artist Schlechter, a 65-year-old snowbird who resides in Largo and Long Island, N. Y., creates whimsical art quilts from brightly pigmented pieces of fabric.

Recently, she found a way to meld her love of painting and quilting with her desire to help others.

Schlechter is in the process of furnishing each of the 34 bedrooms in the Ronald McDonald (East) House in St. Petersburg with 12- by 12-inch art quilts, all depicting childlike scenes of houses with skies, grass, trees, suns and moons, and so forth. Ronald McDonald Houses are considered "home away from home" for the families of hospitalized children, and often the children staying there help her select the fabrics and design.

She's placed 10 house quilts so far and plans to make a total of 80 to help brighten all four Ronald McDonald Houses in the bay area. Her newest houses (headed to the Ronald McDonald House after the show) and those made by guild members are part of this exhibit.

The members' show takes place inside the Osceola Gallery, where a kaleidoscope of wall hangings showcases creativity, personality, attention to detail and mood swings. While some are light, bright and charming, others can be dark and haunting. It's all about self expression and having a ball.

Designer June Colburn took vintage white silk wedding kimonos, cut them into pieces, quilted them together, added tiny pearls and adornments, and created a beautiful piece of wall art that features motifs of cranes, a Japanese symbol of fortune and long life.

"This is our adult playtime," she said.

The Tampa Bay Surface Design Guild welcomes new members and offers a series of monthly workshops on a variety of techniques. Workshops on indigo dyeing and gelatin plate printing are coming up.

Visit for more information.

Contact Terri Bryce Reeves at

>>if you go

Tampa Bay Surface Design Guild Show

What: "The Gardens: Brenda Schlechter One Woman Show" and "Home Is Where the Art Is"

Where: Carnegie and Osceola galleries at the Clearwater Main Library, 100 N Osceola Ave. in downtown Clearwater.

When: Show runs through Aug. 27. Library hours: Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Info: (727) 562-4970

Surface design art on display at Clearwater Main Library 07/30/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 30, 2014 5:55pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Ready to go it alone? Tips for easing into solo travel


    Since 2012, Kristin Addis has been traveling the world. More often than not, she's solo.

    Travel author Kristin Addis takes soloness to another level at Dead Horse State Park in Utah. Before you book an international trip, try starting small to test the waters.
  2. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for July 21


    Taking Back Sunday: The emo heroes will be joined by Every Time I Die and Modern Chemistry. 6:30 p.m., Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $26.50. (727) 565-0550. Afterward, guitarist and co-lead vocalist John Nolan performs a DJ set at 10 p.m., The Bends, 919 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Free.

    Taking Back Sunday, performing in St. Petersburg this weekend. Credit: Reybee, Inc.
  3. On the Camino de Santiago, Day 16: An evening of wine and song transcends all language barriers for these travelers


    Day 16: Castrojeriz to Villarmentero de Campos: 35 km, 10.5 hours. Total for Days 1-16 = 360 km (224 miles)

  4. Artist exchange creates Tampa-Havana friendships

    Visual Arts

    SEMINOLE HEIGHTS — Bad weather rocked the Southwest Airlines flight from Havana to Tampa.

    Marian Valdes of Havana, Cuba, who is a resident artist through the Tempus Projects artist exchange program, stands for a portrait at the non-profit art space in Tampa, Fla., on Monday, July 17, 2017. Valdes has an upcoming exhibit titled “Addicted Involution.”
  5. Bar review: Attic Cafe and Bar, brews with views of downtown Tampa

    Bars & Spirits

    It's ironic that Tampa Bay WaVE — an entrepreneur incubator with an eye on growing Tampa's tech startups — keeps its offices in a century-old building originally used as an auditorium for the adjacent Masonic Lodge.

    One big plus at the Attic Cafe & Bar is its patio and balcony, where you can spy City Hall and a few other landmarks in downtown Tampa. Local history also figures prominently.