Sun City Center resident and Florida Watercolor Society signature member, Janice James, hangs some of her beautiful paintings that will be on display at the SouthShore Regional Library’s exhibition now on display through June.

The SouthShore Regional Library located at 15816 Beth Shields Way in Ruskin will host a fabulous exhibit of two nationally known watercolor artists during the months of May and June. Riverview resident, Arthur Dillard and Sun City Center resident, Janice James are the featured artists.

Dillard is a nationally renowned watercolor artist known for his images of African Americans including legendary jazz and blues musicians, famous athletes as well as scenes of everyday life.

Dillard said of his work, “I want my work to tell a story, and the story is something that everyone can understand. My work expresses love, history and live. I love to paint pictures of children and their elders. Their faces tell so many stories.”

Laurie Burhop, Art Coordinator for the John Crawford Gallery at the SouthShore Regional Library said, “Arthur Dillard’s work evokes a mood when you look at his work. It’s very powerful.”

In addition to the exhibit at the SouthShore Regional Library, Dillard’s work is on display during the month of May at the John F. Germany Public Library in Tampa and at the Mayfaire by the Lake in Lakeland. When asked about the importance of exhibiting work in public spaces, Dillard said, “Most public places are accessible to everyone and many are free. I find that most people can afford to travel to these places and many are in their community.”

Dillard added, “I try to inspire children with my work, so I do many exhibits at schools and libraries. I find that many minority kids normally don’t attend art shows, but many attend libraries and by seeing someone making a living as an artist gives them hope.”

James is well known in the area for her paintings of local historic places. She was recently selected as one of the artists to have her prints and note cards on sale in the Dali Museum gift shop in St. Petersburg.

James studied at the Ringling School of Art and the University of Miami.  She worked as a commercial artist for many years. James is a signature member of the Florida Watercolor Society. This is a prestigious honor. An artist must submit pieces and if three are selected for shows, the honor is bestowed upon the artist.

James said, “I like to make my work transparent. I want it to be clear with light shining through it. I use layers of color and try to capture moisture of water in the layers of color.” James has eleven pieces in the SouthShore Regional Library show, and they feature homes, a mill, a lighthouse, barn and even a bougainvillea.

Burhop said of James’ work, “Her work makes you visual the actual place and the local landmarks. It’s one thing to recognize a place, it’s quite another to like it.”

Burhop added, “Both artists come with reputation. For the library, the quality of their work is quite exceptional.”
The SouthShore Regional Library is open Monday to Wednesday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Thursday 12 to 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday 12:30 to 5 p.m.

For more information, please visit or call 273-3652.

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