The Back Story
Sharlene Gaenicke is the Owner & Inspiration Designer of: photoARTworks & Silver Revival located at The Art Cottage in Historic Downtown Titusville, Florida. Originally from Vanceboro, North Carolina, Sharlene’s parents moved the family to Lakeland, Florida when she was 13 years old.
As a young adult, Sharlene was artistic and loved helping others in need. Not sure how to mesh those qualities into a career, she narrowed her focus into helping others and accepted her first job as a Nurse’s Assistant at a nursing home.
Artist’s statement: “It felt good to help others who could not otherwise help themselves. This experience encouraged me to pursue a career in the medical field. Without financial support to attend college, I sought a career as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and shortly after moving to the Space Coast I was hired as an EMT and later became a Paramedic/Firefighter. During my 13 years of service, working throughout Brevard County and living in Titusville, I continued my education and received a degree in nursing. In 1995, I was hired by Parrish Medical Center in the Emergency Room as a Registered Nurse.”
Q & A
In choosing to help others as your main focus, what happened regarding your artistic passion?
Not giving up on my love for art, I channeled that passion through portrait photography. This was a hobby that began at a young age when I would “pose” my family for portraits. Well into my nursing career, one of my coworkers saw my photography and asked if I would create a family portrait for them. From there, my work grew and in 2002, I ventured into obtaining a business license. After 10 years as an ER nurse, and with the support of my family, I retired early to pursue a full time career in portrait photography. Needless to say, my career in emergency medicine was all I had wished it to be and more.
It is a certainly a major shift from a stable career in the medical field to becoming an independent small business owner, please tell us a little bit about that.
My business began small with a few jobs here and there. Marketing was not my forte, but I definitely knew with a last name of Gaenicke, it would be difficult for people to Google as many people misspell it. So, I chose a business name that was descriptive and easy to remember: photoARTworks. I believe in “the art of photography…the art of life…”. This is my mantra and my clients each receive an individual work of art. I photograph expecting mothers, newborns, children, high school seniors, intimate weddings, families, and private sitting “boudoir” portraits. I create amazing memories and beautiful art for my clients, which gives me a deep satisfaction. My clients’ photo sessions are more than creating pictures, it’s creating memories. So we strive to create great moments, and give them an experience like no other, to capture their precious moments in time. After all, I believe the greatest art you will ever own will be of your family.
What led to you also adding “Silver Revival” jewelry to your artistic endeavors?
It came about from my love of Spoon Jewelry. I have always been attracted to it and the variety of patterns offered throughout the ages. Several years ago, I was unable to find Spoon Jewelry, except at a few art shows, so I decided to try and make it. After many attempts and failures, I finally succeeded in creating a few pieces, albeit imperfect. From there, I strived to improve and that I did! In the beginning, I created pieces only for myself and my family. One day, it occurred to me that others may want to purchase this as well, so I brought the jewelry into my photography gallery. The new addition was well received, people appreciate the quality of the silver and the handcrafted pieces as much as I do. Along with creating beautiful jewelry from Silver plate and Sterling silver we also create custom orders for clients who bring us their Silver. In addition to the care and craftsmanship of each piece, I research the patterns to obtain the pattern name and circa of patent, and then mark each piece so the client knows a little history of their jewelry.
During our conversations, your humble and sincere gratitude along with a passion for life was inspirational.
I am grateful for my many blessings. If not for my loving and supportive husband and two amazing daughters, I would not be where I am today. My husband, Scott, is not only my biggest cheerleader but also my business partner. Together, we inspire creativity in each other and create amazing art in portraiture and silver. In my gratitude, I give back to my community by providing pro bono photography services for those diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses and veterans of war and volunteer at my church by providing Signing services for the deaf and hard of hearing.
Owner & Inspiration Designer of:
photoARTworks & Silver Revival
Both businesses can be found on Facebook and at The Art Cottage in Historic Downtown Titusville:
Address: 16 Main St, Titusville, Florida