Local Artist Eady Earns STAR Honor


Artist Charles Eady poses for a photo with his artwork, Anna, an oil on canvas, left, and Black Jockey 1824, mixed media, at the Marion County Public Library Headquarters on East Silver Springs Boulevard in Ocala on Feb. 17, 2021. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 2021.

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Posted June 10, 2022 |

Ocala mixed-media artist Charles Eady, who also teaches art education at Belleview High School, is one of only five recipients for the 2022 State Teaching Artist Residency (STAR). The STAR program is designed to honor and nourish Florida public school art educators, annually providing five with the opportunity to pursue their artistic work at The Hermitage Artist Retreat. Dating back to 2011, the STAR program is a partnership between the Florida Alliance for Arts Education and Manasota Key-based The Hermitage Artist Retreat.

“It’s incredible to receive this honor. This will be my first artist residency and I hope to reach another level of creativity,” says Eady, whose artist residency at The Hermitage will be July 5-July17. “They will provide studio space and I’m sure waking up to the sound of the ocean will take my creative process to another level.”

Previously featured in both the Ocala Gazette and Ocala Style, Eady’s art work is inspired by the history of free Blacks in the South prior to the Civil War. His painting depicting an early Black jockey titled American Jockey is on permanent display at the Appleton Museum of Art. Eady’s painting titled Anna and named after a character in his book, Hidden Freedom, won the $50,000 Grand Prize at the 2021 ArtFields in Lake City, South Carolina. Eady has also recently painted several free-standing art panels displayed at the Heritage Trail Park in West Ocala.

“My objective at the artist residency is work on completing some of the pieces for my solo exhibit next summer at the Appleton Museum,” says Eady. “My plan is to make the most of this artist residency that I am so grateful to have received. It is truly humbling.”