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Artist Broaderick Has a Right to Crow

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By Zandra Wolfgram


Cock-a-doodle-doo! The plucky red and blue rooster painted on a chalk wall inside CHROMA Studio & Gallery sort of says it all. He’s handsome with his bold, flowing plumage, proud, and looks as poised to swagger right off the wall to strut his stuff. And if award-winning artist Kathleen Broaderick—who brought the now famous Patriot Rooster to life (more on that later)—wasn’t so demure and modest, she could do the very same.


Broaderick’s love of watercolor is evident in the transparent luminosity of her energetic, layered oil paintings. Broaderick deftly captures the essence of her subjects with bold use of clean color and light created with loose brushstrokes resulting in fresh, energetic, relatable pieces.


The artistic journey for this Hollywood, Florida native began serendipitously during her last semester at Florida State University, when she filled an open slot in her schedule with a watercolor class. After marrying her husband Paul, raising two sons and teaching elementary school, she settled in Miramar Beach and began turning her longtime passion into a career.


On the heels of winning an Award of Merit, as well as being named the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation Festival of the Arts Poster Art Contest winner in the 2016 juried competition for her bold and beautiful “Bonita” fish painting, Broaderick—51, slender and blue-eyed, with a bouncy crown of golden curls—continues to make a bold statement on the Emerald Coast art scene this year.


In June, Broaderick thoughtfully conceived, designed and opened CHROMA Studio & Gallery on 30A in Santa Rosa Beach. The word chroma has Greek origin and means “purity or intensity of color.”


Surrounded by friends, family and friendly fans, Broaderick realized her longtime dream to own and operate a working studio gallery bearing her name at her grand opening celebration in September. Guests sipped fruit-filled sangria and dined on succulent seafood paella and flavorful flan dessert prepared fresh on site by a caterer from Tallahassee, while listening to flamenco guitar stylings by Morgan Stuart.


“I came, because she was kind enough to come to my gallery opening,” says Valparaiso sculptor Julia Vanover. “This is a fantastic space, it’s so her.”


The glowing letters of the studio name, CHROMA welcomed 60 guests eager to explore the cheery space dotted with bouquets of fresh flowers. The gallery is a white-walled space filled with Broaderick’s colorful, bold signature works. Joining the Patriot Rooster are a striking menagerie—a salty seabird, a coral flamingo, a silvery blue bonita, a tangerine cow and more. This is a working gallery and Broaderick teaches classes and workshops in the studio located in the back.


“As a former elementary art teacher, CHROMA allows me to combine my personal art studio and my love of teaching all in one place,” says Broaderick. “I wanted to create a beautiful environment where guests feel comfortable expressing themselves, a place where we all find the joy in art.”


The opening of her gallery wasn’t the only highlight of her summer. In August, Broaderick was named an Exclusive Artist for Ballard Designs, one of the nation’s premier sources for home furnishings. Her Patriot Rooster proudly graced the cover of the August 2017 issue. Her photo, bio and quotes about her artwork offered for sale in the company’s popular catalogue are on their official website and are also being touted on the company’s Instagram.


“It’s exciting to be collaborating with a design industry leader such as Ballard Designs,” says Broaderick. “To be a part of the production process and to be acknowledged as an artist by such a global partner makes me feel like I am on the right track.”


Surely, Broaderick’s track is headed straight to the success station, where works like the Patriot Rooster will no doubt rule the roost.

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