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‘Catalyst Sessions’ recap: Artist Carrie Jadus

Bill DeYoung

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The artist at home, in Soft Water Studios. Photo by Bill DeYoung.


Artist Carrie Jadus was our guest Friday on The Catalyst Sessions, and the discussion was wide-ranging, from her earliest days in Tampa, to her education in St. Petersburg and her devotion to the city and its arts community, to her decision – at age 30 – to jettison her career as an electrical engineer in favor of her true passion, painting. And she never looked back.

Her Soft Water Studios and Gallery, a centerpiece of the Warehouse Arts District, is taking part in today’s virtual Second Saturday ArtWalk (info about the event here).

Like all who make their living through making art, Jadus and her husband and business partner, sculptor Mark Aeling, are dealing with uncertainty and, to be sure, a new reality.

“It’s my hope that it will be business as usual, hopefully in a few months,” Jadus speculated, “but I know about as much as anyone, so … we did create a virtual gallery, so you can kind of walk through the space, and get an up-close look on your computer of the different works that we have here.”

Here it is, time for the April event, and Soft Water already had a virtual tour available.

“After making it, I kind of thought well, maybe we should do this for every ArtWalk, so anyone can view it from anywhere. That’s something that’s happened because of this whole quarantine – it probably will be a future endeavor of ours, to always have an online virtual gallery.”

In the meantime, St. Pete’s most prolific oils artists keeps working. During the interview, she revealed an enormous canvas, a work-in-progress hung on one of the Soft Water Gallery walls.

The portrait of José Martí, the influential 19th century Cuban poet, philosopher and journalist, was to be part of an Ybor City project. “Whether that’s going to happen or not, now that the coronavirus has disrupted everything, we’ll see,” said Jadus. “But nonetheless I’m going to go ahead and complete it. I think dealing with isolation, I really need to have projects.”

Painting, after all, is a solitary exercise.

An isolation day, she explained, is “really not that different than my usual day. Except for I probably see my kids a lot more than I used to. And they probably see me more than they want to.”

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