Make us your home page

Art workshops, more at a growing gallery in New Port Richey

Debra Joy Peisner spends her days creating custom jewelry and conducting workshops out of her small studio in North Tampa. But on occasion, she packs her car with the tools of her trade and heads north to the Downtown New Port Richey Art Gallery to teach others the art of turning metal, stone and beads into wearable art.

It's a good outlet for locals like Susannah Caum, who recently ventured out for a Thursday evening workshop with the thought of trying something new.

"I'm starting to think of what I want to do when I retire," Caum said while scissoring her way through a piece of flat copper.

It it might start with a thin piece of copper that, when cut, filed and bent just so, becomes a whimsical pair of ribbon earrings. Or maybe a cherished piece of polished agate, coral or turquoise that becomes a one-of-a-kind necklace when looped in a thin piece of wire.

"People go on vacation and sometimes they come back with a rough stone so they can remember their trip," Peisner said. "We make it into a memory they can wear."

It's not always about what's hanging on the wall, and Peisner's jewelry fabrication workshops are just one of the ways the Downtown New Port Richey Art Gallery has been branching out.

Now in its 10th year, the modest art mecca, formerly known as the Progress Energy Art Gallery, is always looking for new artists to display and sell work or share their talents with others, said gallery director Nancy Ciesla.

"To me, I always think there should be something going on in here," she said. "It could be a workshop that others can participate in or a demonstration the people can just sit back and watch."

Regular events include poetry nights that are open to any writers wanting to share their work or simply listen. There are evenings spent with local authors and opening-night receptions for revolving art exhibits. Ideas in the works include after-school art classes for kids and Friday night art demonstrations or workshops.

Hence the call to artists.

There's also the opportunity to exhibit works in most any medium. Upcoming themed exhibits include All American (September); Small World/Big Love, featuring artwork centered on pets and children (October); and Hand Made Holiday Gift Gallery featuring small paintings, photography and other mixed media. (November-December).

Then there's the option to just stop in and see what's on the walls or check out the handmade treasures for sale — pottery, jewelry, note cards and more — all created by local artists.

"A lot of people find us by accident," Ciesla said. "When they come in here, they tell me, 'It's magic.' "

It might just be one stop to think about making on purpose.

Michele Miller can be reached at

. if you go

Downtown New Port Richey

Art Gallery

The Downtown New Port Richey Art Gallery is at 6231 Grand Blvd. Hours are noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Call (727) 848-6500 or visit

Artistic offerings

• Opening Reception for New Exhibits, 6 to 9 p.m., the first Friday of each month. Next up: "Take Me Home," featuring the West Pasco Quilters Guild on Aug. 2.

• An Evening With the Author, 6:30-8 p.m. Aug. 16 and Oct. 20.

• Poetry Night-Open Mic, 6:30 to 8 p.m., the fourth Friday of each month

• Wednesday Art Series featuring artists sharing techniques and skills, 1-2:30 p.m., third Wednesday of the month. Next up is Robert Green, painting in the alla prima style, on Aug. 21.

• Jewelry with Debra Peisner workshop, 6 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 8 featuring Kokopelli pendant making. For information about Peisner and workshops at Creativeflow Studio in Tampa, visit

Art workshops, more at a growing gallery in New Port Richey 07/16/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 12:16pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Jobsite goes all out, gets results with annual musical, 'The Threepenny Opera'


    TAMPA — As the house lights dimmed for the second act, burglars and pickpockets, prostitutes and scam artists weaved between the little tables of the Jaeb Theater, warning customers they'd best wind down their talking and silence their phones. This was done with a wink but the point was made. This is elitism …

    Miscreants in Jobsite Theater's The Threepenny Opera, which runs through Nov. 12, include (from left) Amy E. Gray, Jonathan Harrison, Giselle Muise, Chris Jackson, Fo'i Meleah, and Derrick Phillips. Courtesy of Jobsite Theater.
  2. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Oct. 24


    On Your Feet: The Broadway musical follows the true story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan's journey as Cuban immigrants coming to America to becoming pop-crossover sensation Miami Sound Machine. 7:30 p.m., Carol Morsani Hall at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $45 and up. (813) …

    Alma Cuervo (far left), an Academy of the Holy Names graduate, stars in the upcoming production of "On Your Feet" at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts on Tuesday (Oct. 24). Also pictured, Claudia Yanez (as Rebecca), Christie Prades (as Gloria) and Nancy Ticotin (as Gloria Fajardo). Photo by Matthew Murphy
  3. Hip-hop artist looks to deliver music, monologues with one-woman show


    Tampa hip-hop artist and actress Dynasty takes her career into a new direction Saturday at Stageworks Theatre with her first one-woman show: A Star in Life's Clothing : Life. Love. Language. Lyrics.

    Hip-hop artist and actress Dynasty will present a one-woman show Saturday (Oct. 28) at Stageworks Theatre. Photo courtesy of @JoeyClayStudio.
  4. With volunteers as its heartbeat, annual Hillsborough County Fair grows larger


    DOVER — There's nothing else in the Tampa Bay community quite like the Hillsborough County Fair.

    Retired Tampa police officer Larry Henderson of Seffner sharpens a hewing ax used for squaring wood in the Hometown Hillsborough historical area of the fair. Beside him is a small sampling of the more than 7,000 tools he’s collected over the years.
  5. Mandarin Hide celebrates 7 years serving craft cocktails in St. Petersburg

    Bars & Spirits


    With its mascot, a mounted buffalo head named Manny, decked out in streamers and a shiny party hat, the Mandarin Hide celebrated seven years of serving cocktails on Central Avenue last Thursday night.

    Mandarin Hide’s mascot, a buffalo head named Manny, donned streamers and a shiny party hat as the bar celebrated seven years of serving cocktails last week.