Beliefs, fantasies, and experiences are the essence of the paintings created by Visionary Artist, Dena Stewart. The first time she picked up a paintbrush, she used it to express her feelings, hopes and dreams. Her heavily detailed street scenes with hundreds of people, her caricature-like portraits with personalized backgrounds, her lush landscapes, her breathtaking seascapes, and her tropical paradises include meaningful messages within beautiful surroundings.
Another Dimension – her latest group of vividly colorful, floral-framed paintings, open a window of the imagination to look into or look out of and wonder about the inner spirit of those individuals portrayed, together or apart, as they go into a dimension of pleasure or leave a dimension of pain. Many of Dena’s works include her vision of an illusive image taking the form of a face in a cloud or a figure swinging from a rainbow hovering above to keep “souls-in-need” from life’s harm.
Dena’s paintings have been shown in: America’s Folk Heritage Gallery, NYC; “Eight Woman Show”–Interart St. Amand Gallery, NYC; Galerie Bonheur, Greenwich, CT; Cuban Museum, Miami, FL; Gallery: Why Not?, Miami Beach, FL; “Two Person Show”–Amdur Gallery, Miami Beach, FL; Gallery of the Eccentric, Coral Gables, FL; Sokolsky Gallery, Miami Beach, FL; “Portraits”–Metro Dade Library, Miami, FL; “A Salute to Outstanding Florida Artists”–State Capitol Building, Tallahassee, FL; The Sher Gallery, Aventura, FL; South Florida Art Picks, Miami Beach, FL; Miami Beach City Hall; The Stephen P. Clark Government Center, Miami, FL; The Capital Children’s Museum, Washington, D.C.; The New York Public Library, NYC; The North Miami Public Library, No. Miami, FL
One of Dena’s most well known early works, “Christmas Tree in the City” was selected for the 1982, ‘83, ‘84 and ‘89 UNICEF Greeting Cards. More than three million “Christmas Tree in the City” cards were sold world-wide and raised over $300,000 for UNICEF. Ms. Stewart served as an Honorary Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF in 1989.
Born in Manhattan, Dena graduated from Pace University with BBA in education. Dena taught High School in New York, was an editor for Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Publishing Company, and personnel manager for E.J. Korvettes, a national department stores chain, before becoming a professional artist.
Along with her husband, artist Stewart Stewart, Dena relocated to Miami Beach, FL in 1987. Together they founded Center for Folk and Community Art, a non profit organization with a mission to use visual art as a tool of intervention, prevention and education. Dena’s artistic talents, along with her academic and administrative background have been a compelling force in creating and implementing the unique art programs for the organization. Her nationally acclaimed Telling Stories Through Visuals program was selected by the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities (the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities) as a model outreach program that impacts communities and helps enrich people’s lives.
Dena is an honored recipient of the 2001 “Woman Worth Knowing” award bestowed upon her by the Miami Beach Commission on the Status of Women. Her bio is included in the 23rd Edition of Who’s Who in the World (2006); the 25th Anniversary Edition (2006-2007) of Who’s Who of American Women, as well as the 2008-2009 Edition; and the 1989 Edition of Who’s Who in the South and Southwest. She received the Key to the City of Miami Beach in 2006.