Meet Our 2014 Uptown Art Expo Judges
Festival Note: Henry Sinn was scheduled to participate as a judge this year and recently became seriously ill. We send Henry our prayers and wish him a speedy recovery.
From a tiny workshop in the playroom of her childhood home to a current metalsmithing studio stocked with tools and equipment, Patricia Karnes has always been creating objects of fine art and fine craft. She completed her B.F.A. at the University of Michigan, majoring in painting and also obtaining a teaching certificate. But metals and metalsmithing were what compelled her most. She began creating and exhibiting jewelry, enhancing the skills she already had by taking advanced study at the renowned Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina, the Arrowmont School of Crafts in Tennessee, and at workshops taught by such masters as Heikki Seppa, Cynthia Eid, John Satterfield, Susan Elizabeth Woods, John Cogswell, and Jean Stark. She has also taken her turn at teaching at Valencia College in Orlando. Ms. Karnes has shown her work at local and national juried art festivals, and is a consistent top award winner. Her work has been included in exhibitions at what is now the Museum of Art – DeLand, The Terrace Gallery in the Orlando City Hall, and The Armory Art Center in West Palm Beach, as well as galleries in Florida, Illinois, and Michigan. She was the recipient of an Individual Artist Recognition Award from the Orlando Art Services Council and three Honorable Mentions from the Florida Individual Artist Fellowship Program. Ms. Karnes is a long-standing member of the Florida Society of Goldsmiths.
Her work speaks of understated elegance and of flowing, organic design. Working with sterling silver and gold, over the years the work has become increasingly more complex and has morphed from essentially single pieces of jewelry into more multi-functional sculptural vessels, each with its own hidden spaces and chambers that give the piece a truly multi-purposed life of its own. But whatever the work, the common thread that pulls it all together is Ms. Karnes’ meticulous attention to detail, design, and finish. In addition to creating her one of a kind sterling silver and gold jewelry and sculptural vessels, Ms. Karnes likes to dabble with painting, photography, and growing orchids. She and her husband reside in Central Florida.
Armed with a doctorate (PhD) in education and a perennial love of art, John Wilton has had a distinguished career spanning 12 years as an art director in South Florida and 27 years as Professor of Visual Arts and eventually Digital Media at Daytona State College, after which he taught similar classes at Stetson University in DeLand (Florida) and at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University (Daytona Beach). His current affiliations include Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Museum of Art – DeLand (Florida) and Chair of the Cultural Council Advisory Board for Volusia County, Florida. Dr. Wilton has judged more than 50 art shows throughout Florida and, as an artist, has participated in more than 90 group and 40 solo exhibitions. He is a past recipient of a State of Florida Individual Artist Fellowship, and recent publications include Art Buzz and Picturing Florida.
As an artist himself, Dr. Wilton redefines the word multi-talented. Proficient in photography, digital art, painting, and printmaking, with graduate work in visual communication and education, his work is included in many public art commissions and private and corporate collections. John Wilton’s M&M (Mix and Match) exhibition at MFA in 2011 was a seminal stroke of brilliance that permitted the audience to participate in the design and structure of the finished work. The exhibition consisted of fifty 12-inch wide panels arranged in groups according to length. Attendees were encouraged to swap individual pieces as they saw fit and to create, or re-create, re-imagined pieces of artwork. Museum patrons became the artist’s creative partners, not only in the final manifestation of the artwork, but also in the overall appearance of the show, which changed on a daily basis. His newest body of work, which he describes as Neo Pop, is a cacophony of color, iconography, and messages within messages. The work often jars the senses, and its multiple meanings can be interpreted and reinterpreted again and again. When not creating his own work, Dr. Wilton generously devotes time and effort to other art related activities and organizations.