Sitting Down with Judy McIntire
For this Artist Spotlight, Allisa sat down with the Gallery Coordinator at Brooksville's Uptown Art Gallery, Judy McIntire. Judy has been an amazing asset to our art community. See what we learned! Thank you to John Cornell for taking photos of the Uptown Art Gallery.
You are not only the gallery coordinator for the Uptown Art Gallery, but you are a practicing artist yourself. How did you first get exposed to the world of the arts?
Judy’s mother and uncle were artists. She had no formal training, but her Aunt Phyllis had a PhD in art! She told me that at home, she didn’t have a TV, just the radio to listen to. Her mother would have her sit at the table and give her all of the tools she could possibly need to create. Instead of giving her a coloring book, she’d have her make her own shapes and colors at just 2 and 3 years old!
Her art lessons and play time didn’t stop with coloring and painting. Her mother and sister had a marionette show complete with a beautiful little red riding hood and tap dancing clown. She would even be a part of their little dance show!
What role does art play in your life? What does art mean to you?
Judy says that art is a combination of things, but it mostly serves as a peaceful outlet for her to get lost in. “When you’re out there painting from life in the plein air setting, you really get into it and zone in on what you’re doing. You’re not always painting everything that is there, but you have a picture in your mind of what you want to create, and you block off a section of what you’re looking at. You’re in your own world.”
Where can people find/see your artwork? Is it up for sale?
Her artwork is for sale at the Uptown Art Gallery. All of the art in the gallery is for sale.
What is your favorite art piece of yours and why?
Judy doesn’t have a favorite piece of art. “I’ve done things I’ve liked, and then not liked them later! I’ve done other things that I thought were going to be fantastic and then I go overboard!” We agreed that sometimes we as artists have to ask ourselves, “When is the right time to stop?”
How did you get involved with coordinating the Uptown Art Gallery?
Judy was a member of the Nature Coast Art League, formerly known as the Spring Hill Art League. This is how she was introduced to the position. She had some previous gallery experience on an island in Maine where she had a great mentor, but it was a much smaller space! Judy learned how to hang and match artwork and colors at this gallery, so she had some previous knowledge and decided to step in.
She tells me that not a lot of people realize that there are styles of artists that you simply can’t put next to one another because they may clash - like delicate flowers next to artists who paint with shockingly bright colors. “You have to step back and say, is this wall balanced? Does this make sense?” Judy has been at the Gallery 5 years.
What types of art do you showcase in the Uptown Art Gallery?
It could be anything – impressionism, floral pieces, traditional, modern, or calming. We are showcasing animals at our current show, “It’s a Zoo.” The gallery takes in all mediums including photography.
When coming up with the themes for your shows, where do you find your inspiration?
She makes the schedule for the upcoming year every July. She says that the themes often come to her in her sleep. She tries to coordinate with things going on in town, like the Blueberry Festival in April where the plein air event winners are showcased, Black History Month in January, and Spectacular Color in November.
Judy remembers fondly that the inspiration for the January 2019 “Off The Wall Exhibit” came from Roger Sherman, former chair and longest-serving Hernando County Fine Arts Council member. On Roger and their exhibit: “I’m really glad to have done the show with Roger. He had really wanted to do it, but had ongoing health problems. We planned it together and I’m so glad we did. Even Though he had just gotten out of the hospital, he came to the reception and he got to see everything and that was really good. I was just amazed that he was able to come. I could relate to him because we both grew up in New England. He came from the western part of New England and we both grew up with the same upbringing. It allowed us to work together and understand each other better. You may be surprised to learn that local writer Mary Mosley wrote a biography of Roger called Dining with Dukes. He was really who they said he was. He was that person.” Sadly, Roger died February 14, 2019.
Can children display their art in the gallery?
Yes! We currently have a student who is just 9 years old. She's precocious and she is Robyn Gray’s student. Judy tells me that Robyn has students from ages 7 to 85, and she notes that “We have artists in the gallery from 7 years old to 95 years old.” She tells me she is proud to have the versatility at the gallery.
What is the best way for artists to get in touch with you?
Information and call for art is published on the city’s website.
352-540-3810 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can readers/viewers help support the Uptown Art Gallery?
The community can come and attend events, buy the art that’s for sale, and they can tell everyone that they know we have a wonderful art gallery that is a destination in Brooksville. They can come and sit here and then go to one of our wonderful restaurants!
How have you seen Hernando County arts community change since you have been here?
In the gallery, we have three rules: no nudes, no religion, no politics. It’s a happy place here. We don’t want people coming in here and criticizing art. The golden rule applies at this gallery.
She was once told that the gallery was only for artists in the Spring Hill Art League (now the Nature Coast Art League), but that is not true. There is no charge to show at the gallery, and there is no charge when you sell, but they can donate 10% of the sale to the art league for their scholarship fund. The gallery is now averaging 6-8 brand new artists with every single show.
Judy tells me that since she has been at the gallery, people are now coming from many different areas. “People come to us all the way from Citrus, Inverness, New Port Richey. It’s now not just Hernando County, but Hernando County and the surrounding areas. It is now becoming an art community where everybody is welcome. We accept without bias and we love to feature new artists with lovely pieces.”
Diane Becker (artist, and art teacher), Jodie Tadlock (outside thinker, chooses different mediums), Janna Withers (oil painter), Victor Romeo (prolific artist, patience of Job, hangs things) and Lee Van Hosen (helps set up) have all been extremely supportive, as well as the Nature Coast Art League. Robyn Gray is always supportive of the Gallery and consistently brings her students to show their work.
Is there anything coming up that we can get excited about? What shows or contests are on your roster for the rest of 2019?
Remaining themes for the rest of 2019 are:
It’s a Zoo – July 13, 2019 thru September 7, 2019
Spectacular Color – September 7, 2019 thru November 9. 2019
Reception held on September 14, 2019
Toasting the Holidays – November 9, 2019 thru January 10, 2020
Reception held on November 15, 2019
To learn more about Judy McIntire and the Uptown Art Gallery, please visit the City of Brooksville's Website by clicking here! Stay up to date on our newest Artist Spotlight posts by following along on our Facebook page.
Thank you to John Cornell for the images.
About Our Artist Spotlights
We have incredible artists in our county and we are so happy to be highlighting them here on our blog as well as our Facebook! Soon we will be announcing our Artist Directory where you can view dozens of artists our city is so lucky to have!