By Kathy L. Collins

The Firehouse Cultural Center in Ruskin will host New York painter Josette Urso for a week of Artist in Residence beginning on Monday, November 16. Events such as discussions and workshops have been scheduled.

Urso was born in Tampa and received her BFA/Drawing and MFA/Painting from the University of South Florida. Her work has been exhibited widely across the country, and she has been awarded numerous grants and residences from places such as the National Endowment For The Arts.

On Monday, November 16 at 7:30 p.m., Urso will present a power point presentation discussing her current involvement with collage, oil painting and drawing while commenting on the evolution of her work. A question and answer session will follow. This is a free event.

On Monday, November 16 and Thursday, November 19 from 12:30-3:30 p.m., adults can attend a Collage To Painting Workshop. This workshop will explore the interrelationship between collage and painting while stressing the importance of intuition, play and experiment. Participants will work from a variety of natural and man-made forms to make cutouts working from observation, memory and imagination. Cutouts will become material for painting and will help generate opportunities for the unexpected. Materials will be provided.

On Tuesday, November 17 and Thursday, November 19 from 6-9 p.m., teens and adults can take a Watercolor and Abstraction Workshop. For the beginner, it serves as a superb introduction to the often elusive medium of watercolor. For the more advanced, abstraction provides a special focus for technique and concept. In a free form fashion, participants will explore the layering of washes and the exploration of form and color. Materials will be provided.

Georgia Vahue, executive director of the Firehouse Cultural Center, said, “This is a rare opportunity to work with an internationally known, New York painter, Josette Urso. Guest Artist Lectures and Workshops are part of the Firehouse Cultural Center’s mission to provide quality programming in arts and education, for all ages and diversities.”

Cost to attend the classes is $150 for non-members and $130 for members.

The Firehouse Cultural Center is located at 101 1st Ave. NE in Ruskin. For more information, call 645-7651 or visit

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