Story by Kathleen Wilson
The Village of Florida’s rich history is sure to continue for generations to come. There’s so much history in this quaint Village because there were so many talented people who call Florida their home. This next generation is sure to add to the rich and unique history of the Village.
Theresa Bailey, an 18-year-old senior at S.S. Seward Institute, recently won both national and county awards for her talent. Her award-winning watercolor, “Grace,” will hang in Washington, D.C. and a digital copy of her watercolor will be hung at Stewart International Airport.
“Gorgeous capturing of shadows – lovely twist captures dimension in posture,” was among the many accolades Theresa’s watercolor of ballerina, Hannah Kerrigan, received from a panel of judges in the 2018 Congressional Arts Competition.
Competitions were never a thought when Theresa doodled in grade school and experimented in arts and crafts. It wasn’t until she entered high school and met Lucy Duquette, S.S. Seward Institute art teacher, that her interest in art was renewed. Through assignments from her art teacher, Theresa learned to look at things differently and to see things she never saw before. Duquette is passionate about art and has passed her love of art on to her students at the school, where she has taught art for more than two decades.
S.S. Seward hosts both a spring and winter art show where students’ art is displayed and, more recently, can be purchased by the students.
Duquette passionately stated, “I’ve had wonderful students to work with.”
Their undeniable talent has produced “one of a kind” works of art utilizing an array of mediums including mixed media, stippling (a method of using small dots to create shadow and solidity), oil, acrylics, and watercolor, which are displayed in the school’s library and halls.
Theresa’s “Poppy I,” an over-sized poppy, can be viewed at the Florida Food Pantry in the Village. And “Poppy II,” a four-foot vibrant poppy in bloom, is currently a work-in-progress and is the young artist’s final assignment before graduating. “Poppy II” will ultimately find its home in the S.S. Seward Institute Library, where it is certain to be enjoyed by future generations.
In addition to Theresa’s flower series, she also has a series of paintings of dogs which are vibrant and full of personality. Recently, while vacationing in Cape Cod, Theresa noticed that many of the doors in the New England seaside town were interesting and unique and photographed the doors and later painted them.
Her most recent work, a mixed-media cow Theresa affectionately named “Molly Moo,” is among a herd of cows on display in Lewis Park as part of an exhibit sponsored by the Historical Society of Warwick. To learn more about the Historical Society Agriculture Exhibit, “This Land is Farmland” visit www.whsny.org.
Both “Molly Moo” and “Poppy II” represent the last of Theresa’s artwork as a student at S.S. Seward Institute. After graduation, Theresa will begin preparing to attend SUNY Orange in the fall, where she will major in business administration. Theresa will pursue a business major to help her prepare to own her own business, which she hopes will be an Art Café/Tea Room concept where artists can come and work in a natural setting.
Theresa said, “I am grateful for my God-given talent and thankful for the inspiration and support I’ve received from my parents, my sister and Ms. Duquette. Their support and advice has made me want to be a better artist.”
Theresa is hard at work commissioning pet portraits. For more information send an email to Lduquette@floridaufsd.org.