2001-2013 Dawn Schmidt Ventimiglia. All Rights Reserved.
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About the Artist
Why do they call her "Eclectic Dawn?"

Dawn Schmidt Ventimiglia is an award-winning internationally-known artist using many mediums, a professional musician, belly dancer, teacher, biker, writer, TV host, henna artist, traveler, nature lover, tikiphile, part-time mermaid, photographer, student of life, and was described in a recent television interview as "the quintessential free spirit."
With over 35 years of experience completing commissioned works and performing in public, her professionalism and talent shine through in every project she undertakes.

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Words from the Artist,
Dawn Schmidt Ventimiglia:

"It's not talent, but the fact that you create, whether through paint, dance, song, or poem, that makes you an artist. If I do not make that leap to portray what I envision in my heart, my soul will wither away to non-existence. Portraying my version of my vision is my feeble attempt of connecting with the Divine, my prayer, an appreciation for all that surrounds us.

I am a survivor left with an intense awareness of my surroundings and the subtle architecture of life within arm's reach. I hear music in paintings...seriously.

I am, therefore, I paint...I am motivated to create when I see the 'simply intricate' that surrounds us, so I paint forms and colors that intrigue me. To see someone's face light up when they 'get it' gives me a great feeling!

I strive to portray my subjects in an intimate way, and my goal is to capture moments that we may miss or take for granted: a creature basking in the sun or the unhurried stretching of a wing...the beauty that is around, and within, not only us, but also each other. I paint, therefore, I am.

The blood that flows through the trees also flows through my veins, and my breath will someday cradle a bird in flight. I paint, therefore, I am. I wish for you to play daily, begin your dreams, say 'I love you' often, eat the oranges mindfully, and make your lives a prayerful dance of peace. Peaceful Journeys...Pass It On."

Dawn "Madlenka" Ventimiglia





Private Clients
Private collectors and bike owners across the United States, as well as Canada, Nepal, Thailand, France, Great Britain, Spain, and Israel.

Corporate Clients
Danville Regional Airport (CAP); PACE Podcast, Roman Eagle Memorial Home;
Little Explorers Preschool (Madison, WI); AZ Roller Derby: Holly Would #411; Orde Advertising; Dollylocks Salon; Indian Stuff; Performance Plus Marine; JeckleArt; DustiCat Creations; Pier 1 Imports; Nebraska Archeology Society; BikerBuddy.net; Temple Terrace Youth Basketball; and other corporate accounts.

 


Click to go to each section:
Background

The Present
Accomplishments 
Clients
Words from the Artist

Dawn's Background   Dawn has been creating commissioned works since the age of 15. She spent many years touring the Midwest and East Coast as a musician singing and playing guitar and keyboard. After "semi-retiring" from the music business (bands are listed below), she opened The Sentiment Shop in central Wisconsin, selling antiques and her handcrafted items. She also wrote articles and gave presentations about antiques, music, and decorating while running the shop. Moving to Green Bay, WI, she painted signs and billboards, and did marketing and web work for a large company there, all while performing in her band and tattooing!

She moved to Florida in 2000 with her best friend, and they opened an imports store which also showcased Dawn's art. With Dawn's murals on the wall, to the tiki check out stand made by her partner, to the scent of incense, the African drums, and Buddhist prayer flags,the shop had quite an atmosphere! She also did henna on clients in the store, and attended area events in traditional tribal costume, teaching about henna's 5000-year-old symbolism. Dawn's life changed dramatically when she was robbed at knifepoint in the store on April 4th, 2003. This incident and others were a catalyst for PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) but she has found coping skills through her great friends, music, and her art.

Around the "turn of the century", Dawn had picked up an airbrush (and a pinstriping brush), and likened airbrushing to the finesse of tattooing. Her first airbrushing job was prepping and airbrushing 40' race boats in the Florida heat!

The Present
In 2011, Dawn hosted a weekly live TV show which featured local artists and performers, and the experience of interviewing other creatives unleashed a flurry of creative activity for Dawn. (You can view videos of her programs on her Eclectic Dawn Arts youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/eclecticdawn) She was given an honorary membership to the Danville Art League for her educational presentations, and was a member of Dan River Art Works, where her work was shown and sold. She sells her one-of-a-kind pieces through etsy, and various galleries, and also has two online shops which offer pre-printed gifts and clothing featuring her art. She started teaching bellydancing in her early 50's (as "Madlenka"), and that led to creating her flash card deck for bellydancers, and bellydance accessories including embellished belts, feather and flower fascinators, upcycled dance clothing, and hand-dyed silk veils. As a bellydance teacher, she focuses on technique, AmCab/"old school" Egyptian style and improv work, and gives individual attention to each student to help them find their "dance wings."

In 2012, she was a part of the "Danville Fashion Team," along with photographer, Sally Susan Popu, for IFVA (In Frame Visual Arts magazine). Issue 6 featured Dawn's bellydance clothing and accessories, while issue 7 showed off some of Dawn's steampunk items.

She creates her custom art in her Virginia studio, The Kukui Lagoon, which is done up like a vintage tiki bar, complete with superb mood lighting, and an LP collection that is played on a *gasP* actual RECORD PLAYER! She schedules custom hand-painted murals and canvases in between airbrush projects, and also loves to pinstripe purses and drink trays, or dive into meditative painting on her tribal bowls (available in her etsy shop). There is never a dull moment in the Kukui Lagoon! Some days it's paint slinging, some days it's bowl sanding, and some days the sewing machine is rocking the studio!

Dawn has her hands full with her art, teaching and playing music (she also started teaching her Middle Eastern Rhythm Exploration beginners doumbek classes in 2013), along with vending at events, bellydancing, hosting haflas for local bellydancers, and writing, yet she still finds time for adventures with her husband such as camping, flea markets, Fairy Stone hunting, photo days, or museum haunting. Dawn is an ocean lover, and enjoyed exploring Florida beaches while living there, and treasures memories of snorkeling in Maui and the Dominican Republic.

She's won multiple awards for her airbrushed motorcycle work. Her "
Mermie" motorcycle (now in CA), which is a total coverage mural of waves, water, dolphins and a mermaid, won "Best of Show Honda", at Biff Burger's Bike of the Year Show in St. Petersburg, FL, which had over 100 entries. She has also won a "Top Runner Up", and numerous second place awards at venues around the Tampa area. Two of her bikes have appeared in major motorcycle magazines, and her ACE Tourer 1100 garnered a second place award in its first showing, and has also won a "Best Overall" trophy, amongst other awards.

Dawn married JohnnyV in April, 2006, in Key West, Florida. They moved to Danville, Virginia, in January, 2007, along with their crazy Min Pin, Bella. Bella, the original EDA Quality Control Expert, was set free from her cancer in 2013, and John and Dawn adopted the wacky and foxy Lola shortly thereafter, and they continue to build, upcycle, explore, teach, and paint together.


Accomplishments
* Dawn assists with the Danville Parks and Rec bellydance classes, with her warm ups and drills. Jan. 2014
* Dawn is asked to become the first bellydance teacher at Front Porch Fest (Stuart, VA), a 3-day, non-stop music festival hosting dozens of acts. 2013
* Teaches "Fun, Not Fear" bellydance improv workshop in Danville, VA, at The Dance Space, July, 2013.
* "Oasis Elements" (Dawn "Madlenka", and Meesha) perform at Darbukastan Independence Days, June, 2013.
* Dawn starts teaching her Middle Eastern Rhythm Exploration beginner's doumbek class. 2013.
* Dawn's students perform for the first time at the Haunted Harem Hafla, 2012.
* Started teaching bellydance classes in 2012 (monthly sessions), as well as teaching Middle Eastern Drum Exploration (beginner's doumbek classes which explore bellydance rhythms).
* Hosted a Nina Amaya (of Baltimore) bellydance workshop for the Danville area dance community. January, 2012
* Published "Madlenka's Raqs al Sharqi Cards", a tool for bellydancers to practice their moves. January, 2012
* Presentation to Danville Art League at Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History about the mural process and business,October, 2011. Made Honorary Member of the DAL.
* Bellydance performance at Dan River Art Works "Bra Show and Auction" for a local chapter of Susan Komen Foundation (also painted and donated a bra). Oct. 2011
* Hosted "Heart of the Arts" weekly live television program. 2011. Guests have included The Danville Symphony, Lee Sandstead of the Travel Channel's "Art Attack", Union Street Theatre, Averett Theatre Department, Rankine Roth (sculptor), Harry Aron (painting ministry), and various local artists and performers. The show gets behind the scenes and into the heart of the artists work. You can view the shows on Dawn's youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/eclecticdawn
* Judged art entries at Festivus (Dan River Art Works) along with Kenneth Bond (Averett University) and BethAnn James (local television personality). Oct. 2011
* Member of Dan River Art Works gallery, making her first sale just 2 hours after bringing in her tribal bowls. Sept. 2011
* Traveled to Madison, Wisconsin, to paint ten more realistic murals at Little Explorers (in addition to the 2000 sq ft she completed in 2007). Murals included Amazon, Caribbean, Andes, Tundra, Enchanted Forest, and others. July, 2011.

* Judged the music entries of the Rockingham County Arts Festival, NC, June, 2011.
* Artist opened her Etsy shop featuring her hand crafted items. June, 2011.
* Dawn hosted the pilot show to her live arts program, "Heart of the Arts". 5/26/2011, interviewing artist, Deb Graham.
* Interviewed on WMDV's Southside Central (one hour show) by Bruce Hedrick. 5/18/2011
* Dawn's art featured on cover of Danville Register Bee's "It's All About Her" special section, May, 2011.

* Interviewed by Star News (television) and WAKG (radio) at Art on Main, May, 2011.
* Exhibited at Festival in the Park, Danville, VA. 2011
* Exhibited works at Art on Main, Oct. 2010, and May 2011.

* Hosted her first bellydance hafla, March, 2011.
* Demonstrated how to airbrush portraits on t-shirts at the Danville Art League. Dec. 2010.
* Dawn guest hosted The Pace podcast, with a round table discussion about women and riding.

* Dawn's ACE Tourer wins a 1st Place trophy at Eden Two Rivers Bike Rally.
* Her CB750 airbrush work wins a trophy at the the Tobacco Alley Bike Rally in May 2010.

* Guest on thepacepodcast.com numerous times 2009/2010 discussing motorcycling and her art.
* The CB750 bike project with Dawn's airbrush art wins Best Paint at Bogie Burgers Bike Night, August, 2009
*
Dawn's airbrushed and customized Honda Shadow ACE Tourer wins Best Bike Overall at Bogie Burgers Bike Night, Sept. 2009
* Dawn's Honda Shadow 1100 Tourer appears in "Hot Bikes Baggers" magazine, December 2008.
*
Exhibit of Nature and Buddhist works at the Danville Yoga and Meditation Center, November, 2008.
*
Dawn's Honda ACE 1100 Tourer motorcycle project wins 2nd place at the Crane Tire Bike and Car Show, Danville, VA, May, 2008.
* Honda CB750 airbrushed by Dawn appears in 12/07 issue of "The Horse" custom motorcycle magazine.
*
Dawn creates and maintains an online motorcycle forum for the Danville, VA, group, River City Cruisers, 2007
* Artist invited to display motorcycle airbrush art in Rick Doss' Danville, VA, custom motorcycle shop. 11/2007
* Artist and her work are featured in a Madison, WI, News 3/UPN 14 story (by Teri Barr, RE: Little Explorer's Preschool). 9/2007

* Dawn's non-fiction book published: "Intimate Nature - Musings and Memories Celebrating Life's Circular Journey" 4/2007
* Exhibit: "Art on the Lawn", Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History, May, 2007
* Member of Danville Art League, 2007
* Selected to be a featured artist in Airbrush Technique Magazine, 2007
* Contacted by White Star Publishing, National Geographic's partner in Italy, for images of her custom motorcycle for a book on customs. Jan. 2007

* "Mermie" ocean bike is "Best of Show: Honda", at Biff Burger's Bike of the Year Show, St. Petersburg, FL, March, 2006, over 100 bikes were entered.
* 2nd place, Best Bike, Sneaky's Weekly Bike Night (2 for 2), Largo, FL 2006
* "Mermie" ocean bike is "Top Runner Up", Biff Burger's 9th Annual Toys for Tots Bike Show, December 2005
* Nebraska Archeology Society commissions artwork depicting Clovis culture mammoth hunt. 2005
* Airbrushed high performance boats (including OSS's T. Werner's 40' Super Cat racing boat) at Performance Plus Marine, Largo, FL, 2004. Also designed and airbrushed the "C
olorful Round Candies" boat, and other boat graphics there.
* Consistently in Top Ten on ArtWanted.com, amongst 10,000+ members, 2003-2005.
* Featured full page artist in "Creative Minds" book published by ArtWanted.com, 2004. Dawn was selected as one of 20 artists to jury art from several hundreds artists portfolios for the publication.

* Juried into Celebration of the Arts convention, Tampa, Florida, 2004.
* Contest: "Our Florida Home" design chosen for the Tallahassee Door Project, March 2004.
* "Naptime" large format painting shown at Kelsey Keller & Assoc. Fine Art Dist., Tampa, 2004
* "Endless Journeys" photo book; "Turtles In The Mist" photo included in anthology, 2004.
* Exhibit: Indian Stuff, St. Petersburg, nature and Native art on exhibit, 2003/2004.
* Exhibit: The Rack, St. Pete. Nude paintings on exhibit - 2003/2004.
* Exhibit at Art Arbor, Boyd Hill, St. Petersburg, 2003.

* "Artists at Work" Native American Exhibit, Hillsborough Community College, Tampa, one of only two non-Native Americans invited to show. Nov/Dec/03
* Featured guest on Madame Ani's radio show: "Ask The Blonde", August, 2003
* Featured in Watermark Magazine (Central FL arts/entertainment publ.) 2002 (EDA store)
* Interview in Tampa Tribune, 2002, 2003 (homelessness)
* NEW St. Pete News, multiple features, 2002, 2003,  (EDA store)
* Northeast Neighborhood News, multiple features, 2002, 2003 (EDA store)
* Featured on Tampa television news: Ch. 10, '02 (henna art), Ch. 13, '02 (homelessness)
* Member of Homeless Task Force, St. Petersburg, FL, 2002
* Featured on Bayside News, 2002, 2003 (EDA store)


* Exhibit: Circus McGurkis, The People's Fair, St. Petersburg, 2002, 2003
* Herb'n Yoga, St. Petersburg, 2002 (henna art presentation)
* Viva La Frieda, Tampa, w/The Tribe, 2002, 2004 (henna art presentation)
* Exhibit at Java Jane's in Gulfport w/The Tribe, 2003 (tribal accessories)
* Featured on Downtownpete.com, 2002, 2003 (EDA store)
* Local Bellydancing Winter Hafla 2002 (henna art presentation)
* Listed in St. Pete Downtown Map and Guide, 2002 (EDA store)
* Featured on Sterling Powell's "Art of Living" website, 2002 (EDA store)
* Opened Eclectic Dawn Arts imports store in St. Petersburg, FL, with Michelle G. 2001
* Wisconsin Poet's Calendar, "Sparrows on my Porch" poem published, 1995.
* Chamber of Commerce "New Business of the Year" 1991, "Service Award" 1992, Waupaca County
* Published in various WI newspapers, short articles, various topics, '90-'96.
* Owned/operated The Sentiment Shop (antiques and hand crafted goods) in Manawa, WI. 1990 - 1996
* Exhibited and sold antiques & hand crafted items at various shows across Wisconsin, 1990 - 1996.


MUSIC:
Dawn taught herself to play guitar at 11 years of age, around the same time she started playing keyboards and clarinet. She has performed solo and in various bands (guitar, keyboards, vocalist), and toured throughout the Midwest and East Coast, since the early '70's. Bands: Couzins, Sweet Ash, David Christopher and Night Scream (1 record), White Witch (all 4 based in the Fox Valley, WI); Uptown, Paradise, Sister Max (previous 3 based in Minneapolis, MN; Roadhouse, Deb-on-Air, Hijinx (1 record) (3 bands based in Green Bay, WI); Sister Sweetly (northern WI). Dawn is the only female rocker to win the WAPL Battle of the Bands, and her band, Hijinx, headlined the first Memorial Fest in Appleton, performing in front of 14,000.

She also has done many voice-overs for commercials in Green Bay, (and recently, voice-overs for a Danville, VA, tv station), and performed a solo tribute show appearing as Marilyn Monroe, Cher, Stevie Nicks and Janis Joplin. Her bands have backed up such groups as Survivor, Robin Trower, Pat Travers, Danny Johnson and the Bandits, B*tch, Kenny Loggins, and even the Mommas and the Papas. Dawn has one solo CD out, and is currently working on another. She plays guitar, ukulele, clarinet, piano, didge, Native flute, doumbek, and klong yaw, and teaches guitar, piano and ukulele. She is also learning to play harp, and has violin and accordion on her list of "instruments I'd like to learn."

   

2001-2013 Dawn Schmidt Ventimiglia/Eclectic Dawn Arts. All Rights Reserved.
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