Nettie Price Artistic Innovator
The Fort Myers Beach Public Library displays the works of a different artist each month in its 3rd floor exhibit area, and almost all of them are innovative in some way, but Nettie Price, the February artist, is a groundbreaking businessperson as well.
“I have been painting since I was a baby, even attaining a fine arts degree at Kutztown University,” Nettie explained. “I also earned a bio-science degree, then my Masters in Education from Alvernia University, so I ended up being a science teacher for seven years, including stints at a prison and youth detention center. One day, while teaching at a school, we had a horrible snowstorm and only one student made it to class, so to pass time I painted him as a cute little animal with funny glasses in a tiny four-by-four-inch painting that I still have hanging in my bedroom and look at every single day. This was the first time I did kids as animals and it all grew from there, and I began to sell it on EBay and on my website, and that was my break to do artwork fulltime in 2012.”
Prior to this, Nettie actually worked with sculptures, “including a nine-foot bronze bear, so I would never guess my big break would come from such a funny little piece. I started out with this style because it made me laugh and happy while doing a job in which I was unhappy, kind-of like therapy, and suddenly it all came around – God gives you the talent; it’s up to us to figure out how to best use it.”
Nettie describes her style as “whimsical, vibrant and fun, and that comes straight from my heart, as I paint what I want because it makes me happy and guides me along my journey. People say my artwork is perfect for children or kid’s rooms, but it is not that specific to me, as I think my pieces are ideal for any part of the home, and even offices, or anywhere you need a smile on your face, and that is pretty much anywhere!”
“3 Dog Love” & SAM
A primary focus for Nettie is animals, particularly dogs. “I painted animals my whole life, as I am an animal support advocate of our local Animal Rescue League, and I just love them. I had a great Lab and Rottie mix named Benny, who sadly passed away in 2012, who was in a lot of my work. I am so proud the Humane Society licensed my image of ‘3 Dog Love’ to raise funds, having it on 500,000 tote bags, and bringing in so far over a half-million dollars, so I cannot think of anything more rewarding! There is nothing better than a good dog, and I try to capture their innocence and kindness and the love they bring us.”
Another important component is nature, particularly the beach. “I love the beach and wildlife and everything about it. Even though I live in Reading, Pennsylvania, my heart resides in Florida! My Mom lives on the Palm Coast, moving down about five years, so I started coming for trade shows, and I have sales representatives all over the state, so it really helps having the Sparkling Art Mobile to travel all around to do my shows.”
The Sparkling Art Mobile is a 25-foot van that Nettie “bought from my local bread company. It was all white so I painted it myself and remade the inside, converting it into a working, walking and movable art gallery to showcase my artwork. I love the Sparkling Art Mobile and call it ‘SAM’ for short, using its initials! SAM basically is my mobile store that I park at my appearances and painting parties, like at the Salty Dog Gallery & Gifts, where people can tour it over a 2 or 3 hour time period.”
SAM came to Nettie because “going to and setting up exhibits is such hard work, so I wanted a way to make it easier on myself! Artists are always loading and unloading their trailer from show to show to set up all our pieces, and most only last a day or two, so I wanted a solution that was less stressful on my body and life, and SAM fit the bill!”
Another innovation are her Sparkling Art Machines. “I reuse several old cigarette vending machines that I turn into pieces of art, so they look really cool! I sell my merchandise from these, and have one at our Animal Rescue League, another at a local restaurant, and a third at our library that sells bookmarks at $5-a-packet. I would love to see these one day catch on all over the country.”
Sparkling Art For The Young-at-Heart!
Nettie’s connection to the Fort Myers Beach Public Library came from her appearances at the Salty Dog Gallery & Gifts. “Library personnel saw my artwork last year at one of my painting parties with Carla Pine, who has been a customer of mine for years, so I have been on their calendar since summer, and I am pleased to be bringing 35 pieces to this exhibit.”
In addition to the Library, you can experience Nettie at two other venues. “I host another series of two-hour painting parties, where you can learn how to paint, at the Salty Dog at 1901 Estero Boulevard, suite #103, on Friday, February 9, at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, February 10, at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and Sunday, February 11, at 2 p.m. The cost is $40 with a discount for all four programs. The next weekend, I will be at the Bailey’s Store on Sanibel, as a fundraiser for the Sanibel Sea School, on Friday the 16th from 3 to 7 p.m., Saturday the 17th from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday the 18th from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and you can tour the Sparkling Art Mobile at all of these! Following this, I head to Florida’s Atlantic coast for roughly another month.”
As for her future plans, Nettie would soon like her own commercial space, “because right now I work out of my house, so the goal is to have my own Sparkling Art Studio!” “Sparkling” is so closely associated with her “because I put sparkles on everything I paint! My works are already colorful, but they just needed a little something extra to set them off, so I add sparkles on every piece by hand. My slogan is ‘Sparkling art for the young-at-heart!’”
To add Sparkles to your life, visit the artwork of Nettie Price at the Fort Myers Beach Public Library’s 3rd Floor Exhibit Area throughout February, including the “Meet the Artist” reception on Tuesday, February 6, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., when you can tour the Sparking Art Mobile in the parking lot! The Library is at 2755 Estero Boulevard; with hours Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and closed Sundays and holidays, including Presidents’ Day on Monday, February 19. For information, see www.fmb.lib.fl.us or call 239-765-8162. To contact Nettie, see her webpage at www.nettieprice.com or email her at email@example.com.