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East County Wednesday, Mar. 13, 2019 6 months ago

Manatee County jewelry artist will be one of many to shine at Lakewood Ranch Winter Fine Arts Festival

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She will be among 70 to 80 artists featured at the event.
by: Andrew Atkins Staff Writer

Ranch Lake's Joyce Slate, who will be one of the many featured artists at the Lakewood Ranch Winter Fine Arts Festival March 16-17 on Lakewood Main Street, has a colorful history. 

“I think you’re born an artist,” she said. “I never knew you could actually make a living at it.”

The 52-year-old owner of Mythos Jewelry was born and raised in Minnesota and wasn’t always a full-time artist. During college, she spent time training dolphins in Hawaii.

When Slate graduated from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 1991, she spent her time working as a production assistant on films and she expected to become a documentary film maker. She would spend as much time as she could on each production, from painting sets in pre-production through being an assistant editor in post-production.

Over the years, she tried other jobs, such as sales for a beauty company and being a flight attendant.

Throughout Slate’s adventures, though, she continued to create her jewelry. 

Around 2004, Slate uprooted her life and became a full-time artist, traveling the country to sell her work at shows. 

“I was doing it little by little,” she said. “I thought, ‘What’s the worst that could happen?’”

The success, for her, was impressive. 

“I made more in a month than I would have in a year, and I just kept going,” Slate said.

Her work is inspired by ancient artifacts and archeology. In her studio, Slate has a scaled-down museum replica of a Mayan tablet that she uses molding compounds so she can incorporate the textures and designs into her work. 

That inspiration came from Slate’s aunt, Kathy Peterson, who took Slate to museums and provided her with inspirational magazines. 

Much of the inspiration for Slate’s work, she said, came to her in a dream.

“I’ll wake up with an idea,” she said. 

Adrian Johannes, event director with Paragon Festivals, said between 70 and 80 artists from across the country are expected at the event.

He said he expected between 5,000 and 7,000 visitors across both days of the festival. The event will be dedicated exclusively to artists to emphasize their work and process. 

“It’s just an art buyers’ market,” he said. “If you like the downtown experience and you want to see work and art that you’ve never seen before, there’s no better way to experience it than at a neighborhood art festival.”

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