Meaghan Farrell Scalise
Media: Acrylics on Canvas

HEAD FIRST II by Meaghan Farrell Scalise is the featured work of art of the 50th Annual Raymond James Gasparilla Festival of the Arts. Following an open call for submissions, GFA Board and committee members selected the winning image through an anonymous voting process. The image will be featured on official Festival materials including the program, advertisements and merchandise such as t-shirts and posters.

 “Leave the normal, the mundane, the black and white way of thinking behind. Jump in head first into the unknown, the colorful, the daydream of it all.”   – Meaghan Farrell Scalise

HEAD FIRST II incorporates several elements which celebrates Tampa Bay’s vibrancy and culture, represented in this colorful world with the patterns of coral, swimming fish, palmetto and banana leaves, pink sunset clouds and a starry night sky.

In ancient times—and even today—the oval (egg) shape suggests rebirth, fertility, and even immortality. The multitude of circles represent commitment, community or all cyclic movement.

The sun’s rays represents antique skeleton keys in nod to our rich history. The multi-color stripes are the many layers of enriched soil, often called horizons. These layers play an important role in supporting life on land and filtering our rivers and waters. The plants and mangroves in this painting give importance to Tampa Bay’s complex ecosystem, their importance as habitat is clear for the river and wildlife.

“I think it perfectly captures our 50th and the relocation to Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park. I see the person leaping through the window into this vibrant, exciting and optimistic future – just as we are leaping over the river, on Leap Day, to our beautiful new home. And then when I read all of the symbolism that Meaghan put into the piece, it just solidified it for me. I think it’s perfect,” said John Scheffel, GFA President.

About Meaghan Farrell Scalise
With over two decades of owning and operating a successful commercial fine art company, Meaghan Farrell Scalise is once again showing her personal artwork. A graduate of Florida School of the Arts, her focus was on producing paintings and sculpted works of art, along with studying graphic design and photography. Her work eventually led to other creative paths and careers, including large scale murals, portraiture, prop design and interior design. She credits being open to a multitude of art forms for her giving her a broad perspective on the arts, allowing freedom to mix art forms to create new styles and unique works of art. Her work can be primarily found in several collections in Florida, as well as in private collections in the United States, Greece and Germany.