Introducing The Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival's 2023 poster by Debo Groover of Debortina Studio.
Inspiration for Poster:
"A native Georgian and decades-long transplant, I have been fortunate to travel the entire state of Florida and spend time in each of its unique regions. Winter Park has always been one of my favorite cities. I’m immediately drawn to its vibrant downtown full of shops and restaurants with people meandering together. In my work, I often assign human behaviors and activities to birds and other animals to tell stories so the poster idea was simple - load up a vehicle (in this case a bicycle) with your favorite peeps and head downtown for an afternoon of fun. Once the theme was approved by the committee, they made only two requests: Include a French bulldog named Monk and a bouquet of flowers. Both of these elements are a homage to two special board members that are not here this year. The rest of it came together naturally. Some of my favorite Florida birds and the official state fruit, of course."
- Deb Groover, Debortina Studio
2023 Poster Artist Bio Debo Groover
Raised in Savannah, Georgia, I have lived mostly in the South. I received an MFA from the University of Georgia in ceramics and have spent half of my art years as a potter. Although I am formally trained in ceramics, I am totally self-taught in polymer clay.
In both a fortuitous and naive exploration of this new material, I applied every technique I had learned in ceramics and subsequently broke every rule in polymer clay. This resulted in a brand-new technique of using colorful and patterned sheets of clay-like fabric collage. The clay itself is paper thin and tactile. When you look at each painting, the subject matter is clay. The background is textured acrylic paint. I try to use the paint in such a way that the viewer has to closely engage with the work in order to distinguish between the two materials.
My work is made in a place of happiness. This has always been my most accurate truth. The inspiration is very simple. I use animals to tell the stories of both ordinary and special human events from Sunday dinner to Mardi Gras and everything in between. Sometimes, a bird is more than a bird.