Artist Biography for Brandy Stark
Brandy Stark moved to St. Petersburg, Florida, in 1992. It was here that she began to engage in visual arts. As an undergraduate, she took a course in sculpture at the University of Tampa where she worked with clay, wood, stone, and cloth. She discovered her wire wrapping abilities during the independent project assignment. Utilizing welding rods, she made three wrapped wire figures: a triton, a dragon, and a centaur. These constituted the first generation of her “Metal Myths” series, established in 1995. A lifelong lover of world mythology, her works often manifest as ancient characters, legends, and deities. Tying past to present, Stark sees herself as a Neo-expressionist with the weaving and wrapping process she uses transferring her own energy into the piece. Inspired by the sculptures of Joan Miro, she also utilizes found objects in her pieces. These promote an awareness not only of upcycling, but symbolize that everything and everyone has a place in this world.
As she expanded her visual arts career, she also became an arts correspondent for the St. Petersburg Times. From 1998 to 2002, she worked with the Times art critic, Mary Ann Marger, writing about local art events, artist interview pieces, and critiquing art shows in the Tampa Bay area. She also wrote for other local publications, including Bayside News, Sterling Powell's City Life, and several art based websites. This gave her invaluable insights to the local artist community and inspired her to work even harder on her own artistic vision.
Much of her creativity intertwines with her educational endeavors. Her undergraduate studies produced a double major in History and Classics from the University of South Florida. She holds a graduate degree in Religious Studies, also from the University of South Florida, and a second graduate degree in Humanities from Tiffin University, Ohio. She obtained a doctorate in Leadership and Education from Barry University in 2010. Currently, she is working on a thesis paper for her final graduate degree in Liberal Studies from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. She won two National Endowment of the Humanities grants to further her research; Transcendentalism (Concord, Massachusetts, 2009) and Georgia O’Keefe (Albuquerque, New Mexico, 2012).
She is a full time faculty member at St. Petersburg College in the Fine Arts and Humanities Department. She teaches Religious Studies and Humanities courses at the Downtown and Allstate campuses, and for the Honors College, Study Abroad, and Interdisciplinary Studies programs at the Gibbs/St. Petersburg campus. In her effort to increase student-artist interaction, and to provide a free location for artists to share their works, she secured supplies and funding for art display areas at the Downtown and Allstate Center campuses. Local artists and art groups are invited to show in these spaces, and to do short talks sharing information on the creative process, experiences as artists, and inspiring students to learn more about the arts.
Stark served as an artist-in-residence for Bay Pines VA Hospital in 2004, and on the boards of the Exhibiting Society of Artists and the Suntan Art Center. She has won multiple awards for her wire sculptures, including “People’s Choice”, “Best 3-D” and “Best Concept” awards. Starting in 2016, she reignited her interest in photography and has won Honorable Mention at the Suntan Art Center for Are You Being Koi With Me? She also received a Merit award in the Pinellas Park Art Society’s show, “Fur, Fins and Feathers” for her piece, Flamingo!