Wilmot Gardens is pleased to announce that Peg Richardson will be joining the team as the first “Artist in Residence”. She has set up a modest studio space and gallery in the foyer of the Greenhouse at Wilmot Gardens, and her colorful watercolor paintings now grace the walls. Considering that Richardson specializes in painting botanicals, gardens and flowers, her work is a harmonious addition to the facility.
“From an early age, I began to sketch and to appreciate the natural world around me,” Richardson said. “I grew up on a small farm in the Midwest (Indiana) where growing things was a way of life, and those early positive experiences have stayed with me. I consider myself quite fortunate that I’ve been able to translate my love of nature into a livelihood.”
Actually, Richardson has had parallel careers as a professional artist/art instructor and as an arts administrator. She worked for three Florida secretaries of state, in protocol, overseeing art programs/grants, and developing international cultural exchanges. She served as director of the Thomasville Culture Center (Georgia) for five years, and then was appointed Director of Cultural Affairs for the State of Florida. She came to Gainesville from Tallahassee in 2001 to work with UF’s College of Fine Arts as Director of Development and then retired from the state in 2008. Since then, Richardson has worked as a volunteer docent at the Harn Museum of Art, serving as president of the docent board in 2017.
Throughout the years, while raising a family and busy with her career, Richardson managed to keep on painting, occasionally entering art competitions. Over the years she took over 80 awards including five “First Place” and five “Best of Shows”. She is a signature member of the Florida Watercolor Society and belongs to numerous other art organizations.
“One of my passions is teaching watercolor, especially at the beginner and intermediate levels, and I look forward to offering classes here at Wilmot Gardens,” said Richardson. “The gardens will provide endless inspiration.”
All of Richardson’s artwork in the greenhouse gallery is for sale, including her line of garden-themed notecards, with partial proceeds benefitting the programs offered at Wilmot Gardens. Visitors to the gardens are welcome to stop by the greenhouse to observe Richardson, who will be keeping morning hours in her studio. Additionally, an official Artist’s Open House event is in the works for later this spring.