Artistry comes in many forms. Phyllis Jones Behrens is a visual and a culinary artist. As one of Highlands County’s well-known artists, Behrens’ work will be showcased at the HCA Gallery at the Sebring Airport for the month of February. She is also showing a selection of assorted paintings at the Sebring Public Library during February and March.
Last Saturday, Behrens also showed off her culinary skills with her prize-winning sweet and sour meatballs. This dish was the winner at Moonlight, Martinis and Meatballs, which was held at Highlands Little Theater last month. Behrens won the coveted tittle of ‘Meatball Master.’ This was a double treat for those browsing the gallery during the event.
The Heartland Cultural Alliance sponsored the event, which is held monthly, to showcase local artists. In addition to being able to view Behrens works of art and enjoying her meatballs, Steve and Sheralee Jones provided the entertainment with guitar music and vocals.
Behrens has been an award-winning artist for many years. Her first award was from winning a Halloween window painting contest in Indiana, which set the pace for the rest of her career. She earned a scholarship from the John Herron Art institute and has earned many national and international awards.
“My inspiration comes from fashion magazines,” said Behrens. “I look through Vogue and Town and County and make unique changes to what I see and like. The ideas just spring from the pages.”
Her paintings focus on bright colors and original designs. Many of her works involve females as mermaids, fairies, geishas and glamorous women. However, she also works with jewelry and hand painted furniture.
Behrens’ work, titled ‘Pink’ is a take on the modern women. “Angel in Gold’ is one of the paintings in a new series. ‘Pony Reserve’ is a painting of a young Indian women at the Federal Pony Reserve which borders North and South Carolina.
“I did ‘Race’ for my grandson,” said Behrens, “My husband Bruce used to race as Behrens Racing. He still holds the class record for his age in Sebring. Our grandson loves the racing cars.”
HCA holds a monthly reception at their airport gallery where the work of one of their local artists is exhibited. The gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the weekend.