1. Life & Culture

Here's where to exhibit if painting or photography are 'Your Thing' in Pasco County

Aripeka Dock, below, by local photographer and Gulf High teacher Lisa Barrus, left, is one of her works at the Alric C.T. Pottberg Library.
Aripeka Dock, below, by local photographer and Gulf High teacher Lisa Barrus, left, is one of her works at the Alric C.T. Pottberg Library.
Published Aug. 23, 2012

Jana Withers typically paints her lush landscapes and wildlife scenes with a colorful palette. But for "The Drawing Board" exhibit opening next month at the Progress Energy Art Gallery, Withers entered an intricate pencil drawing of watering cans called Liquid Life.

"That thing took me forever to finish," Withers said with a shake of the head. "I'll take color and paint over pencils any day."

It's all black and white for photographer Lisa Barrus, whose one-woman show, "Randomality at 52," is on exhibit at the Alric C.T. Pottberg Library Art Gallery at Pasco-Hernando Community College's west campus. Barrus, who has taught art and photography for more than 20 years at Gulf High in New Port Richey, has long encouraged her students to exhibit their work, whether it be the annual student art show at Sims Park, the Pasco County Fair or receptive local galleries.

Now it's her turn.

"I think it's important for the community to see that art is alive in the schools and the community," Barrus said. "We need to keep people enjoying the arts."

Withers and Barrus are just a couple of local artists doing their thing here.

"Overall I love the interaction with others that all share the same interest. But it's also a way to give back," said Withers, 63, a retiree from Spring Hill who left a career working for GTE and delved into her creative hobby. She's prominent in the community, signing on with a handful of art guilds and showing works at various venues along with her husband, Larry Withers, 68, talented at woodworking.

Jana Withers has done her share of giving back. She has donated her pieces for a variety of causes, including a painted picnic table auctioned off at Brooksville's Blueberry Festival and a mural of a field of sunflowers she created with fellow artisans at the Children's Advocacy Center of Hernando County. She also coordinates workshops for the Spring Hill Art League with the hopes of drawing others into experimenting with something new.

"The thing about art is that it makes people feel good," Withers said. "And that's what it's all about."

Local showcases

Dade City Center for the Arts/HiBrow Gallery, 14125 Seventh St. (Main Street), Dade City. This juried gallery features 14 exhibiting artists. Accepted artists must become members, and pay a quarterly hanging fee that helps support scholarships for the children's summer art program. Help staff the gallery and pay a lower commission on sales. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday or by appointment. Visit or contact events director Stuart Marcus at (813) 417-6336.

Progress Energy Art Gallery, 6231 Grand Blvd., New Port Richey. This gallery invites artists of various mediums. Submissions must be entered two months in advance of show. Discount hanging fee for members. Upcoming shows include "The Man Cave: Everything a man can possible want within the law — artwork of course" (October), and a handmade gift gallery (November and December). Hours are noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, with special events held most Friday nights. Go to or call director Nancy Ciesla at (727) 848-6500.

Pasco Arts Council, 5744 Moog Road, Holiday. Offers classes for youth and adults and the opportunity for local artists of various mediums to exhibit and volunteer throughout the year. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The council has been closed for the summer and will reopen Sept. 4. Go to or call Laura Knox at (727) 845-7322.

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Alric C.T. Pottberg Library Art Gallery at Pasco-Hernando Community College, 10230 Ridge Road, New Port Richey. The schedule is booked through August 2014, but now is the time to submit work for next season's showings. Hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday. Contact Diana Brinker at or call (727) 816-3231.

Spring Hill Art League: Members meet from 7 to 9 p.m. the third Monday of the month (September through May) at United Church of Christ, 4244 Mariner Blvd. in Spring Hill. Offers classes, workshops, exhibition opportunities and sponsors scholarships for local high school students. Go to, call (352) 593-4633 or contact Doris Hoffman at

West Pasco Art Guild, 6202 Jefferson St., New Port Richey. Offers art classes, workshops and member shows and receptions. Go to www.westpascoart or call (727) 841-7732.


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