Meet Our 2018 Uptown Art Expo Judges
Orlando-area sculptor David Cumbie has been a staple of the Central Florida art scene for almost four decades, but in this time frame, his reputation has emerged worldwide. From Japan to Germany and Mexico, he has exhibited his work and has been invited to participate and represent the United States in several major international exhibitions of sculpture, including no less than four European cultural exchange programs and traveling art exhibitions in Italy in the early 2000s. Mr. Cumbie has produced multiple, major bodies of work in Mexico alone – from designing mosaics for Mexico City and the American consulate in the Yucatán state capital of Mérida, to projects in Cobá in the Yucatán peninsula’s far eastern state of Quintana Roo, one of the great centers of Pre-Columbian Maya civilization. Since 1996, he has been the curator and major contributor to the Crealdé School of Art Sculpture Garden in Winter Park, which now consists of over 60 magnificent outdoor sculptures.
Mr. Cumbie’s work ranges in size from life-size statues to ceremonial pieces 10 to 12 feet high. Subject matter ranges from purely representational to symbolic. His favorite medium with which to work is clay, but he is equally comfortable with concrete, bronze, aluminum, and stainless steel. In stating that “Sculptors give art the opportunity to come out of the gallery and use our landscape settings to create special niches and passages,” he has gone on to say that the “outdoor environment presents the challenges of creating works durable enough to survive the elements of nature and the touch of the viewer’s hand.” Mr. Cumbie resides in Chuluota, Florida, with his German Shepherd Gracie and where he is inspired on a daily basis by the deer, rabbits, and other wild birds and animals on his three-acre, rural property.
Equally efficient in oils and in graphite and colored pencil, artist Barbara Tiffany began her professional career as a commercial artist for the Sanford (Florida) Herald, but her devotion to fine art began much earlier, in elementary school. As a young kindergartener, she recalls excitingly drawing maps, ships, sea dragons, and other such objects. Influenced and encouraged largely by her mother, she found little to no art instruction in the public school system, but, in spite of that, continually made art on her own, knowing that she “was always going to be an artist.” A series of jobs followed the Herald, including working for an ad agency and for Orlando TV station channel 35. But the pivotal point of her career began when she met, and took classes with, the widely acclaimed artist, painter Maury Hurt. And to say it was a pivotal point, or even life changing, is an understatement. The mentor/muse relationship with Mr. Hurt continued not just for weeks or months, but for years. And in that relationship, she learned about light, which, she says, “changed everything,” including gravitating from colored pencils to oils and opening a studio and teaching space at the Maitland (Florida) Art Center.
To this day, she still teaches, and her extraordinary reputation for inspiring and encouraging students precedes her. Sharing her knowledge, Ms. Tiffany states, “is exciting,” and “that’s how it’s supposed to be.” She remains what could be called a country girl, and her younger years running barefoot through Rock Springs in north Orange County, Florida, can still be felt in her landscape work and nature abstractions – all of this in addition to her portrait, animal, and still life work. Without question, Barbara Tiffany is a renaissance woman. She and her husband reside in Sanford, FL.