A Selection of Featured Artists & Friends

Meet an Artopian: Becky Keaton

What is your favorite photography subject, and why?
Not sure I can answer the question about my favorite subject to photograph because I love wildlife, people and nature in general. I photograph the dogs at the Wakulla Shelter in Crawfordville for the Facebook page in hopes that people will fall in love and go adopt them! It’s one way I can make a difference.

What do you wish to convey through your work?
I like to show there is beauty in so much around us. Even in simple, everyday things that we sometimes take for granted.

What artist has influenced your work the most?
I completed the Commercial Photography Program at Lively Tech and my instructor Russell Grace taught me a great deal. I had actually admired his work for years and wasn’t aware he was the instructor until I took the course.

If you could meet one person (deceased or alive), who would it be and why?
I would like to meet Frank Lloyd Wright. His work is so unique and I would like to talk with him about it.

If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?
Alaska is my dream location to visit.

Meet an Artopian: Heather Spurlock

Heather SpurlockHow would you describe your artistic style?
To describe my artistic style…well, I never stick to one thing for too long. I like to try a little bit of everything when it comes to art. I like to think of myself as a “free bird” in the art world.

What influences you to incorporate buttons in your pieces?
I always like to add different things into my paintings for texture…odds and ends I may have or pieces of old jewelry. The buttons just happen to be incorporated into two different pieces I donated for the event two different times.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
Wow…super power! I loved super girl when I was a child, she was my hero. I would love to be able to fly….I envy creatures with wings because they can move so freely when they want.

At what point did you first consider yourself a true artist?
When I first started doodling….that’s when I considered myself an artist. My favorite artist is Picasso and I quote “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up”.

When did you first get involved with Artopia, and why?
I believe 2014 was the first year I got involved because a friend of mine told me about it. I love being able to spread my love of art while helping the community! Anytime I can lend a helping hand, no matter the situation…I am more than happy to do so.

Meet an Artopian: Ty Fowler

Ty FowlerWhat do you love about photography?
I love photography because it is cool to be able to freeze moments in time that you would not be able to freeze without a camera.

Who is your favorite musician?

If you could have a super power, what would it be?
The power of flight

What is your favorite color?

How has photography change you life?
Photography has changed my life because it has allowed me to meet people that I would not have met if I had not taken up photography has a hobby.

Meet an Artopian: Todd Szuch

Todd SzuchWhy do you create art?
When I have an idea or vision I feel passionate about, there’s this strong desire to see it expressed in a physical way. In doing so, I’m able to share my perspective with other people and connect with them through art.

What do you wish to convey through your work?
I don’t have a particular message but rather my intent is to share who I am, coming from a background of somewhat unknown origin. Having been adopted from Korea as an infant and growing up in the U.S. I have a unique lens through which I view the world around me.

How would you describe your artistic style?
It varies between abstract color studies that play into the natural fluidity of watercolor to both stylized and detailed realistic landscapes, botanicals, portraits and still life settings that require patient control.

If you had one super power what would it be and why?
I’d have the ability to breathe underwater so I could explore the oceans.

If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?
There is no where in the world that I would want to travel to right now, I am right where I want to be.

Learn more about Todd’s work at his website,

Meet an Artopian: Thadd Swerdzewski

Thadd SwerdzewskiWho is your biggest inspiration in art?
Salvador Dali, Charles Schultz, and Sandy Proctor.

Will the Beatles be getting back together?
No, unless you’re talking about the bugs.

What do you love about creating?
The ability to tap into the emotions of others and the unique visual way to communicate.

Does the band Nickelback bother you?
No, even though they’re from Canada, I dig it.

What advice would you give to new or up-and-coming artists?
Combine what sells in the marketplace with what you truly enjoy, and you’ll be a success.

Meet an Artopian: Dewayne Cosby

Dewayne CosbyWhy did you start painting?
I started painting/drawing any a early age. I didn’t have a lot of friends in school, so I found ways to entertain myself to keep me occupied. I had no idea that it would become a outlet for me to express myself and to be noticed a little bit more in school that I was. It was always a great way to get to know people. For instance, when I would be in a room full of people I didn’t know and to shy to introduce myself, I simply took out my pencils and sketch book and began to draw. Within a few minutes I’d have people asking what I was doing and where did I learn to draw and so forth. Really helped me grow into a more social person.

Can art heal?
Yes, I believe that art has many impacts to the healing process. It can calm you down during stress or anxiety, lower heart rate, clear the mind, relive stress and not to mention that when you’re done, as you look at what was created, you kinda get that feeling like “huh…. about of all my feelings, emotions and thoughts turned into something that can’t be duplicated.” And is as unique as I. That’s a great feeling, to look at something that wasn’t ever there until you came along. My cousin Mary Aday said it before… to me actually.

Who is your biggest influence in art?
My biggest influence in art would have to be my family – my mom especially. Always telling me that I was talented and one day would impact someone in some way of greatness to them. I’ve always just brushed it off and said that she was only saying that because she’s mom and that’s what moms do. But without her, I would not be the person I am today. And honestly, I kinda like me. I’m proud and glad that she’s my mom.

What is song is playing on your phone right now?
The song playing on my phone right now is “Sirens of the Sea” by Ocean Lab – my favorite song in the universe!!

Why have you decided to help Big Bend Cares?
I have decided to help Big Ben Cares because of all the help they provide to others and the LGBT community – my community. All the hard work that they put in… a simple “thank you” couldn’t be enough. Lucky are we to have them in our town and community. I wanted to give back. Just paying it forward.

Big Bend Cares

2201 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32301

850.656.2437 tel       850.942.6402 fax