By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Artistic expression spreads to downtown
1226artists 1
Area artists Sterling Brown and Crystal Turnblom hang Brown’s photos above Avocados Restaurant on Dec. 20 before their exhibition opening. Photographer Jeremy Byers is the third artist in the show. - photo by NAT GURLEY

While artist Sterling Brown was eating one day recently at Avocados on the downtown square in Gainesville, he noticed the different pieces of art adorning the restaurant’s walls.

This led to a brief discussion between Brown and Avocados owner Albert Lunalover and resulted in Brown and two fellow artists, Crystal Turnblom and Jeremy Byers, exhibiting their work on the second floor of the restaurant.

“It’s something different you know,” Lunalover said in a recent phone interview. “I have the space and (he) wanted to showcase it as well.”

Brown, a 42-year-old graphic designer and information technology specialist, described his art as psychological.

“I love to create things, anything, especially digital art,” said Brown, who pointed out his favorites hanging on the walls as he set up his exhibit last week.

One piece called “Breeze” is special because of its texture. But the largest piece in the room is his “all-time favorite ... for now.” He used makeup and food coloring on a model to give her an unusual look in the piece called “Sightless.”

His friend and fellow exhibitor Crystal Turnblom of Gainesville pointed across the room to her favorite picture of a Mr. Potato Head with a doctor’s attachments next to a clown figurine.

“The clown belonged to my dad and it belonged to his sister,” the 38-year-old said. “I took (the clown) to New Orleans and I broke it. So I decided I could make a bad situation better.”

Turnblom decided to try and repair the broken object.

“Me and my son played doctor,” she said.

The event then morphed into a photo opportunity of Mr. Potato Head playing doctor and trying to fix the clown. Turnblom then took a picture and called it “Emergency surgery.”

Turnblom’s and Brown’s art along with Byers’ artistry will hang in the upstairs portion of Avocados for at least a month, the restaurant owner said.

“Maybe those pictures will open people’s minds,” he said, adding he hopes it will lead to more artistic exhibits in the future.

Brown of Gainesville hopes viewers will connect with his pictures.

“I hope they will see just what is beautiful,” he said.

Turnblom is just excited to have her work out for public viewing.

“I’m excited,” she said. “I don’t exhibit a lot. But I have a crazy connection now.”

The art is available for viewing during Avocados regular hours. Hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to close Wednesday and Thursday, 8 a.m. to close Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.

The restaurant is at 109 Bradford St. NE in downtown Gainesville.

For more information, call 770-532-0001.