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Art of the Meal: Judy Canonico brings beauty to Inman Perk
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Local artist Judy Canonico's exhibit "Beauty Around Us" is on display through Jan. 31 at Inman Perk on the square in downtown Gainesville. - photo by Scott Rogers

Art of the Meal

An occasional series on the starving artists whose works hang in places where food is served. Nominate an artist for this series.

Visitors of Inman Perk Coffee on the Gainesville square may have recently noticed a new display of artwork, painted by local artist Judy Canonico.

The exhibit, called “Beauty Around Us,” consists of 17 pieces of watercolor, acrylic and oil paintings inspired by seemingly ordinary objects that one may see in everyday life. The catch is, Canonico takes the ordinary and makes it extraordinary.

“To me, ‘Beauty Around Us’ means that beauty can be found in everything,” Canonico said. “With my work, I strive to convey a sense of emotion to viewers and make them feel like they are ‘stepping into’ the painting, so to speak, and making them feel like they are there — whether it be in a past memory or helping them create a new one. Even something like a rusty bucket can be beautiful by putting wild flowers in it.”

Canonico spent her high school years drawing stick figures, until a friend invited her to attend a porcelain class.

“During high school I always drew stick figures with rulers because I was very much into math and science. After going to that class with my friend, though, I discovered how much fun art is. After I got older — probably after I was 30 — I got involved with several local art organizations and eventually began to experiment with watercolor, and then oils and acrylics,” she said.

Always looking to improve and grow in the ever-changing world of art, she has participated in seminars taught by notable artists such as Bill Davidson, Tony Couch, Jan Sitts and Carlton Plummer. Honored to share her knowledge with others, she has also taught her own seminars across the United States, New Zealand and Korea.

“I love experimenting with different (media) and different sizes of canvas. I’ve painted things from 11-by-14 inches to 30-by-40 inches, but sometimes you want to try something totally different, so recently I’ve been into painting miniatures. Where you can have a very fine level of detail in a big painting, the detail has to be even more so in something extremely small.”

Her favorite subject to paint is scenery, and she also incorporates an abstract style into her work.

“Of the 17 pieces currently on display at Inman Perk, my favorite is probably the big 30-by-40 abstract. It was inspired by the ocean during a storm when I was in Destin, Florida, this past fall, which was an absolute phenomenon. I took a picture, and as soon as I got home, I painted it.”

The “Beauty Around Us” exhibit is on display through Jan. 31, and all pieces are available for purchase.

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Caitlin Buzbee works Jan. 9, 2018, at a table in Inman Perk near two of Judy Canonico's acrylics. A large piece of artwork inspired by a storm in Destin, Fla., is one of Canonico's favorites in her exhibit "Beauty Around Us" on display at Inman Perk on the Gainesville square. - photo by Scott Rogers
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