St. Lucie Cultural Alliance welcomes new member Janet Bird Fuller,
the opening of a new gallery Whirled Inc Gallery
Contributing Writer: Laura Louise Tingo of Laura Louise PR
Janet Bird Fuller’s artistry is showcased in her magnificent, eclectic collection of steampunk mixed media and found object artist works. A second-generation artist from Fort Pierce, Fuller, surrounded by art at home, was already painting and cartooning at an early age. Her father, a police sketch artist, is credited for initially sparking and fostering Janet’s creative interest.
“He taught me a lot over the years,” Fuller said. “I used to paint and cartoon, but then I got bored, so I stopped for a while.”
Fuller recalls, without hesitation the year that her creativity was re-booted, when in 2001, while driving by a trash-shed, she saw, “…some interesting pieces,” and thought, “Now that would make great art.”
In 2012, Fuller realized her first professional exhibit and has been exhibiting ever since.
Fast-forward to present day, Fuller is exhibiting her diverse and dynamic collection of works made from recyclable materials at the new Whirled Inc Gallery, 129 N. Second Street, in Fort Pierce.
“Janet’s artwork and my artwork go very well together,” said Fogle, artist and the owner and operator of Whirled Inc Gallery. “She has great work here and really is an incredible artist.”
But it is more than that to Fogle. This new gallery has been his creative ‘brainchild’ for almost two decades. “Janet is a great friend and she really encouraged me,” he said. “She is extremely generous… “She is a fixture of the art community and very important to the art community here.”
The gallery, nestled along the artsy Second Street Corridor of Downtown Fort Pierce, is the second in a series of spots that its owner Steve Fogle has opened to support local artists. Whirled Inc Gallery offers artists the cultural avenue to vie for a chance to showcase their works in stunning variety, along with, “a little of everything,” Fogle said. Jewelry boxes, flower vases, photography, paintings, sculpture and greeting cards are among the offerings.
“I am trying to make it a one-stop gallery,” he said.
Fogle is accepting artists with, “the right fit,” for his ‘funk ton of cool’ platform and invites artists to begin the conversation by sending a photo. “Your art has to hit me,” he said.
Fuller exhibited her work at the prestigious Seriously Mixed Media gallery for four years, before meeting Fogle in 2018 and starting a successful collaboration with him.
“Steve is just wonderful,” she said. “Previously, he solely exhibited his work, then I joined him, and now he features an array of great artists.”
Prior to meeting Fogle, Fuller owned and operated a gallery in 111 Orange Avenue, but the building was sold, rent became cost-prohibitive, and over 40 artists lost their studios. Next, she showed her work at the Art House. “It was like New York City Gallery,” Fuller recalled, “it was absolutely beautiful.”
Early in her career Fuller found support in the local arts agency, she said. Through an ‘emerging artist program’ she was matched up with a professional artist, learned how to promote her work, build a website, and get involved in the local arts community. Fuller now enjoys the benefits of artist membership with the St. Lucie Cultural Alliance.
When asked what advice she would give to artists who are starting out, she offered a similar path.
“Hook up with people who know what they are doing,” she said. “I thought being an artist was staying home and creating awesome art, but there is so much more to being a working artist.”
Fuller cheers mentorship and colleague support of fellow professionals as helpful in showing emerging artists the ropes and ways to, ‘untangle numerous misconceptions.’
Fuller also encouraged all artists to support each other, attend gallery openings, and to get to know the local cultural community.
“Janet loves Fort Pierce and is a very big part of it, said Fogle, adding that she, ‘knows almost every artist.’
To see Janet Bird Fuller’s work, visit Whirled Inc Gallery, located at 129 N 2nd St, Fort Pierce, FL 34950, call: 772. 966.2105, or www.whirledincgallery.com