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Meet the artists for the 10th annual Art at the Ranch Festival

Uncommon Paths All Lead to the 10th Annual Art at the Ranch Festival Saturday & Sunday, March 20th & 21st from 10AM to 5PM. Read about the inspiring artists who will be in attendance at this year's festival. Admission for this exciting event is FREE and the event will take place at Main Street in Lakewood Ranch.

Marie- Pierre designed sets and costumes before she began creating jewelry. Linda McAdams is a singer/songwriter who finds that photography is another way to tell a story and Gigi Laberge is a New Englander whose decade long love affair with our local sea life is the inspiration for her glass art. Each has traveled a different path to lead them to where they are today. They are just a few of the uniquely talented artists whose work will be on display at the 10th Annual Art at the Ranch Festival at Lakewood Ranch, March 20th and 21st. Marie, Linda and Gigi are all available for interviews by phone and possibly in person.

Marie-Pierre started her adult life as a concert pianist, having graduated from Boston University in Piano performance. That career ended soon after graduation due to a very serious tendonitis to the wrist. She and her family moved to the United States in 1977and were called to move around often due to the nature of her father's work but she knew that the United States was going to be her last destination.

She moved from Boston to New York City where she had decided to live the life of a painter which was her first love. Growing up, her mother was a porcelain painter for the great Limoges company in France and every day of her life was always surrounded with art. The smell of paint in her studio, the brushes always so clean...when not working they would spend time in Paris just walking around and looking at "the street" so much happening in the streets, her mother would always say.

New York City helped her developed her style, she exhibited her work in many galleries around town in solo shows, groups shows and other places, won awards and became a certified artist of the city of New York. She also worked at the same time for the Albany Berkshire ballet and designed sets and costumes and collaborated with the choreographer, Bill T. Jones.

Always curious, one day while walking on 47th street in Manhattan she came across the most unusual piece of jewelry, just like a painting or a sculpture. Vibrant colors jumping at her with intricate metal work... That evening she was reading and trying to understand how to create jewelry. It took her about 10 years to perfect her skills, having learned mostly by reading books and asking around about the various techniques, she was able to forge her own look and a very unusual way to work. She creates pieces like she would create a painting, meaning that she knows when she starts a piece of jewelry but she never knows when it is finished. It is a process where she tries at every movement of creation to determine what next step to take making all her pieces one of a kind. Today she works in sterling silver and precious gem stones. She has been working in the lost wax process and has created an enormous data base of carvings, from geometrical to whimsical. She has about 500 pieces to choose from when creating a piece! Just like a painter using pigment she picks and choose the shapes to create a piece. The results for her are gratifying and to see people's reaction is really the cherry on top!!!!

Website:www.mariepierrecollection.com

Linda McAdams has been an artist her entire life. Before working in this medium, she was a musician, songwriter and performer for many years. She worked in Nashville for several years, and continues to write and pitch her songs there. She feel as though songwriting and photography are complimentary mediums.....composing little vignettes to tell a story in some way or another, visually or musically. One of her customers recently told her they felt her work was like a dream of a place they had been.

She likes to describe her work as "Impressionist Images," and strives to straddle the visual line between photography and painting. Her technique: "Impressionist images hand-altered during developing to remove some of the realism. Paint is added using pigments, oils and pastels. She prints her work using state of the art technology and the finest archival materials."

Web Site: www.lindamcadams.com

Glass artist Gigi Laberge's motto is "From the mountains to the sea, I create," and by the sea in Sarasota is a favorite inspiration. Laberge, from New Hampshire and Maine, spends as much time as possible each winter in Sarasota. Her love affair with the area began a decade ago during a visit to local relatives. "I am always inspired when I get here," Laberge says, "coming from snowy New England I'm happy the minute I feel the green, lush environment and the sands of Sarasota.

On one of her first visit's, she discovered the Mote Aquarium, and has been visiting annually ever since. She's the one studying each exhibit with sketchbook in hand. "I just love the way I feel each time I'm there; I want to capture that feeling in my glass. There's a sense of peaceful wonderment when I watch life underwater. It's not just the fish, it's the plants, the coral, the colors, all of it. Each year I go back to my studio and design my own version of my seaside experience. But, it all starts with that initial visit to the aquarium and that need to create afterwards. Laberge is known for her depictions of jellyfish in glass. "Trying to capture the movement of jelly fish in glass is a frequent theme to my work. Those pieces are steady reminders of the wonder of the visit to the aquarium." "My latest trip to Sarasota has my sketch pad brimming with ideas, now I'm in my studio, working to transfer my thoughts from paper to glass."

In addition to her large scale "pictures in glass," Laberge also creates stunning wearable art including glass and fresh-water-pearl jewelry, and a line of necklaces called the "Slice-of-Life." Each pendant has a small cut of glass resembling a watermelon slice. Initially designed for a dear friend's family as they began the fight against cancer Laberge felt, "the joy of the slice reminds us to celebrate all that life has to offer, and encourages us to live, love, and give to the extreme." With the sale of each piece, Laberge donates a portion of the proceeds to local Hospices, including Sarasota's Tidewater Hospice. "The magic of the Slice was something that evolved," Laberge says, "it is meaningful to so many and has become an important part of my work. "It's special, it's fun, it's good," she says.

Laberge is a lifelong artist, a juried member of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen, and shows her work at fine craft shows in New England and Florida. She will show her newest creations at this year's Art at the Ranch sponsored by the Art Center Manatee at downtown Lakewood Ranch, March 20th and 21st.

Visit our website http://www.artcentermanatee.org or call 941-746-2862 for further information.

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