Poet Carolee Bertisch

Poetry, Writing and Painting describe the focus of the life of Carolee Ackerson Bertisch. She was the English Facilitator and Writing Coordinator for the Rye Neck School District in Westchester, NY., after graduation Cum Laude from Syracuse University, a Masters Degree from Manhattanville College, Post-graduate work at Columbia Teachers College and a Fellowship at Lehman College.

Her first book was Who Waves the Baton? Musings about Nature, Marshmallows and Mountain Ranges. A leader of two local book discussion groups, she founded and participates in A Gathering of Poets, a group that meets regularly at the Ponte Vedra Beach Branch Library to critique poems and recently published an anthology. 

After serving as President of the Friends of the Library - Ponte Vedra Beach, the St. Johns County and Florida State Library Boards, she was honored in June 2010 with a nomination for the EVE Award (Education, Volunteer, Employment) for her leadership promoting the library budget in St. Johns County.

In September 2012, she published her second book, Walking To The Beat Life: Mystery, Melody and Music, A Memoir in Poetry and Prose.  On March 30, 2014, she was honored to be chosen by the St. Johns County Cultural Council to receive the ROWITA Award, Recognition Of Women In The Arts.  Her third book, The Twelfth of Never Poems was published in 2018, which also features her paintings. Love of painting began during her retirement to Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, which she and her husband Jerry always thought of as Paradise.

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Artist Ellen Diamond

Ellen Diamond was raised in Brooklyn, New York where she developed her career as an artist. At the early age of four she was regularly seen sitting by the side of her father, Ben Clements, trying to emulate his painting techniques and skills. With Ben, a well-known portrait painter mentoring her, she continued to perfect her artistic talents through her lifetime. Her passion for painting continued to grow and ultimately knew that this was to be her career. With study at the prestigious Pratt Institute, Brooklyn Museum Art School and a degree in fine art from New York University, where she studied with renowned artists, she was on her way to an illustrious career in art.

With her move from New York to northern Florida, she was fascinated by the natural beauty of the area, most notably the beaches, marshes and river along the coastline which inspired her latest works. Drawn to the numerous bridges that spanned the waterways in Jacksonville and the surrounding areas, she embarked upon a series of paintings that gained immediate attention from the art media. Her interpretation of these simple yet elegant expanses was magical, and soon became one her art signatures. The stories from the Old Testament and particularly from Genesis have inspired a series of works such as JACOB’S LADDER on exhibit in this presentation.

Embarking upon regular travel to the Provencal region of France and the villages that dot Tuscany in Italy, she spread her attention to the numerous subjects that made these venues famous. Spending summers in these regions as well as in other European arenas such as the south of France and Venice she paints the vineyards, hillside villages, sunflower and poppy fields, Venetian waterways, and other landscapes.

Not a day goes by that Ellen isn’t honing her skills either in her studio or in plein air. She shares her art expertise with those who study with her at the First Coast Cultural Center, and workshops at the Cummer Museum along with many lectures that she offers on painting and the history of art. Ellen is represented by The Vault Gallery in Jacksonville Florida, H. Whittaker Gallery in Ponte Vedra Beach Florida, and Plum Gallery in Saint Augustine Florida.

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Musician Jeremy Bertisch

Jeremy Bertisch is currently enrolled at the University of North Florida, simultaneously pursuing a Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music Education with a concentration in Secondary Instrumental Music. Jeremy has long since been an accomplished musician, beginning formative classical piano training at the age of 7 and gradually expanding his musical palette throughout his secondary education to include knowledge and playing ability for brass, woodwind, string, and percussion instruments. Throughout his Middle and High School years, he was bestowed upon multiple awards for his musical abilities, leadership, and commitment to the music program as well as consistently maintaining member status of his County-wide honor band over the course of 6 years (7th to 12th grade).

Jeremy currently serves as Assistant Project Manager and Arranger/Composer for The Limit Breakers, a YouTube channel dedicated to providing instrumental music covers of Video Game Music. He also serves as the current President-Elect of the UNF chapter of the Collegiate National Association for Music Education, an organization dedicated to advocating for the arts and aiding in the field of Music Education as a whole. He will be graduating with his Master’s degree from the University of North Florida in the Fall of 2022, where he will step onto the field as a High School Band Director.

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