Sunday, October 17, 2021

Our artful lives

Writer and artist, Tara O’Neill, enjoys a stunning day of inspiration with wild butterfly orchids in our precious Everglades. submitted PHOTO

Writer and artist, Tara O’Neill, enjoys a stunning day of inspiration with wild butterfly orchids in our precious Everglades. submitted PHOTO


Tara O’Neill

“Times are a-changing.” Well, for me, anyway…and, technically, for the thousands of devoted readers of Art Uncovered. Art Uncovered is finished. Kaput. No mas. The fat lady is singing her head off. Last one, right here.

After fifty-two issues, I am putting to rest the vehicle that made me a literary superstar. The original mission of Art Uncovered was simple and sincere: to share with you the exceptional, lesser-known, artists, art venues and events, that grace our artful coast.

Together we met talented artists (of which there are so many) who maybe didn’t have the wherewithal for arduous outdoor festivals, or hadn’t yet secured gallery representation; we visited galleries that prefer to exhibit and sell art that is created here by artists that live here (of which there aren’t enough.) We attended grass-roots festivals on Bayshore, in Goodland, and at the Esplanade; we took road trips to Everglades City and Ochopee. I can only hope that these experiences were as meaningful to you as they were to me. And, if I’ve done my job properly, you’ll continue to seek out our “hidden” treasures.

Now, now, stop your fretting…Art Uncovered may be over, but our relationship doesn’t have to be. This project opened up for me a wealth of new ideas while rekindling almost as many old interests long grown dusty on the shelf. Ideas about the role of art in our lives – about, for example, the colors in which we choose to dress our homes and ourselves, and why; ideas about art’s role in the economy, in education, in our travels; the effects of gender and geography on what artists produce, and what we desire. This is good stuff. How about your personal style as art: are you a stream-lined minimalist? Or a playful eclectic?

Our lives are indeed full of art. I can’t think of a decision or action that is not touched, or motivated by art – and nobody has ever used the word artless in a good way. So, come October 5, look for my new column The Artful Life. I’ll be discussing issues that touch us all. Also, I promise that when I encounter an artist who needs (and deserves) a bit of spotlighting, I’ll still do it right here.

And, finally, I still welcome your story suggestions, e-mail me at – and be sure to put Artful Life in the subject line. CORRECTION: in my last column (Aug. 24), while discussing the predominate palette of art from coastal Maine, I referenced paintings by ANY Wyeth – which was misprinted as ANDY Wyeth. I wouldn’t want to give the impression that Andrew Wyeth and I ever reached a level of friendship that included nicknames, because, truthfully, we never did.

Tara O’Neill, a lifelong, award-winning, artist has been an area resident since 1967. She holds degrees in Fine Arts and English from the University of South Florida and currently has a studio-gallery at the Artist Colony at the Esplanade on Marco Island. For more info visit


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