While growing up, Leoma Lovegrove connected immediately with the process of creating art and fashion simultaneously. “If it was Valentine’s Day, for example, I would stay up all night,” she says of school days, “and paint hearts on my clothes, or sew a skirt made with hearts. I was insane!” But her first real opportunity came during a family vacation to Disney World while she was wearing a jacket she’d created that was covered in plush Pound Puppies. After an official-looking gentleman tapped her on the shoulder to inquire about her unique garment, Lovegrove quickly found herself in the corporate offices at Disney where she was invited to be part of its International Teddy Bear Museum convention. Attend she did, and it was the start to a new path in her art career. “Art is just one big adventure in my life,” she reflects, adding, “I never know where I’m going to end up, and who’s going to like my art, and where it will take me.”
Lovegrove, whose gallery is in Matlacha, has secured a multi-year contract with Bealls Department Stores to create exclusive commercial fashionwear for women and children. “I really love doing the commercial art for Bealls,” she says, “because I get to combine fine art with the commercial. They tell me what they want, and then I get to do what I want with it. They just give me a subject.” Lovegrove’s fashions can be found in 65 of its stores throughout Florida.
LEOMA LOVEGROVE MATLACHA ISLAND