Feature Story and Photos By Larry H. Oskin

The Hope Barton Fine Arts Studio & Gallery recently opened here in Clermont to help celebrate the creative quality of professional local artists and crafters. The Hope Barton Gallery has been established in a remodeled old downtown Clermont home hat was originally built in 1915.

The Hope Barton Fine Arts Gallery: This Clermont studio and gallery goes far beyond showing artwork created on location at this studio by Hope Barton. The gallery also hosts plenty of original paintings, sculptures, pastels, watercolor, handmade crafts, etchings, pottery, stained glass, jewelry and glass art.  Barton also offers customized and commissioned artwork, artist consultations, art workshops and group critique sessions. She remains committed to showcasing the arts and crafts of other professional fine artists.

Artist Hope Barton: Hope Barton’s art career first began to take off in 1974 as a respected fine art printmaker. While she is now a respected multi-talented artist and landscape painter, she has continued to work as a printmaker creating multiple-plate and hand-colored etchings since her start 45 years ago.  She first showed her work at juried sidewalk art festivals in Winter Park, Gasparilla, Festival of the Masters, Ann Arbor Street Art Festival, Beaux Arts, the Mount Dora Art Festival and many others.  From 1997 through 2001, she owned a different art gallery here on Montrose Street in downtown Clermont.  During that period of time, she started doing a lot of acrylic painting, teaching and demonstrating at Walt Disney’s Epcot as well as to get involved with numerous art leagues.

After starting a family with two children, she pursued a degree in Art Education at Florida South College. She also went on to study business, economics, accounting and marketing at the University of Miami. They moved to Saint Augustine in 2005 where she was featured at Fogle Fine Arts in the “Riverkeepers Show” several times as well as to be the Featured Artist at Mullet Beach Gallery which is now the High Tide Gallery. She had 2 one-person shows at Arts on Douglas in New Smyrna Beach. She has shown at Butterfield Garage Gallery, Acquisitions Gallery, Melrose Bay Gallery, Corse Gallery and the Plum Gallery.  She was honored to participate in the Greenscape Show at R. Roberts Gallery in Jacksonville. Her works are included in the book, Picturing Florida, from the First Coast to the Space Coast.” Her artwork hangs in the new Flagler Community Hospice Building and at Flagler Hospital.  In 2015, she was commissioned to paint two large paintings for Baptist Hospital. She eventually stopped working on the etching process and donated her two presses, primarily concentrated on acrylic landscape painting.

After visiting for a bit in Suwannee, FL which greatly influenced her work; they moved back to Clermont in 2017. She notes, “The colors of the Suwanee marshes and birds vary from season to season and the creeks into the Gulf are visually rich. The shadows and colors at dusk inspired her to use wonderfully different color skies.  Her new Hope Barton Fine Arts Studio & Gallery studio space is small, yet it is perfect for both small and large artwork.

Today, Barton remains a respected landscape realist and an impressionist painter. While she admits to still thinking more like a printmaker, her artwork style is consistent, yet still evolving. She thinks like a printmaker yet uses primary acrylic paint colors. She notes, “I view my artwork as a complete thought process! I look at it like I am still making multiple printing plates, yet primarily working with 3 colors.” Barton is a member of the Clermont Downtown Partnership, the South Lake Chamber of Commerce and the South Lake Art League.

Next Art Show Opening! The entire community is invited as Hope Barton will host ‘A Celebration of Light & Color’. This new art exhibition will feature the inspired acrylic paintings of Sharon Repple. The opening reception will be held on Sunday, October 6 where you can meet the artist, enjoy networking with other artists and trying some light refreshments. This exciting new show will be held in conjunction with a juried South Lake Art League invitational show. Both shows are concurrent and will hang from October 6 to December 31. On November 2, a special acrylic landscape painting workshop will be led by Sharon Repple.

Inspired For Success! Hope Barton shares her favorite quote by Calvin Coolidge; “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.  Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent”.

Hope Barton Fine Arts Studio & Gallery: Open Wednesday through Sunday each week; the Hope Barton Fine Arts Studio & Gallery is located directly across from Clermont City Center at 647 Lake Avenue, Clermont, FL  34711.  For more information, call: 904-738-9552, email: HopeBarton@HopeBartonFineArts.com, visit www.HopeBartonFineArts.com and www.facebook.com/hopebartonart/


EDITORIAL NOTE: Larry Oskin is a writer and photographer for the South Lake Tablet. He is the owner of Marketing Solutions / Art Beautique, offering creative marketing, media relations and professional fine art photography services. He is a Board Member of the Clermont Downtown Partnership, the Florida Lakes Symphony Orchestra and the Clermont Historic Society. For more information, contact Oskin at 703-508-6800 or at LOskin@MktgSols.com.