By Amanda Hatfield Anderson
MELBOURNE -- One local artist has been recognized by Florida Gov. Rick Scott and First Lady Ann Scott as featured artist for Florida's Black History Month.
Rose Jefferson of Melbourne was awarded with this prestigious honor during Black History Month, with one of her works to exhibit in the Governor's mansion, as well as 10 other pieces, exhibited at the R.A. Gray State Building in Tallahassee from Feb. 1 through Feb. 28.
Growing up in Houston, Texas, Mrs. Jefferson was encouraged by her mother, who was a school teacher, to paint and draw.
Following her marriage to husband Carl Jefferson, the two moved to San Francisco, where Mrs. Jefferson enrolled at the San Francisco Institute of Art, where she studied watercolor and other mediums.
While she enjoys creating art using oil, acrylic and mixed media, Mrs. Jefferson's true passion lies in watercolor.
"Watercolor is my favorite because of its transparency, cleanliness, beauty and challenge," she said. "Sometimes, I will mix gouache and watercolor to add shape and texture."
Like many artists, Mrs. Jefferson expresses herself through her craft during emotional times.
"When I am faced with difficult times, I tend to deal with the situation through painting," she added. "It helps me through the process of healing, as when my son was deployed to the war in Iraq during 2005-06."
Mrs. Jefferson said that throughout her son's deployment, she began painting portraits and figures of him, incorporating the negative emotions she was feeling into each brush stroke.
"I would paint hedges, barriers and shields of floating objects around him for protection in my prayers," she added.
On Friday, Feb. 28, Mrs. Jefferson will travel to Tallahassee for the closing invitational reception to honor her work.
"It is my understanding that the selection process was made by viewing many African-American artists' works throughout Florida," Mrs. Jefferson said. "I felt tremendously blessed to have received this prestigious honor from the Governor and First Lady of Florida."
Mrs. Jefferson's work "Flowers in the Garden," which is oil on canvas, is currently exhibited in the Governor's mansion.
To view the Governor and First Lady's video message, visit www.FloridaBlackHistory.com.
For more information about Rose Jefferson, visit www.RoseJeffersonArt.com.