Professional artist Dennis Tawes, of Millville, said he got slapped a lot as a child.
Not for misbehaving, but for writing and drawing with his left hand.
“I was going to school at a time they were trying to make left-handers into right-handers,” said the artist, who goes by his standalone, capitalized last name TAWES.
Now he is being hit with kudos for his southpaw creativity, especially for his development of LEDism. That’s the use of LED color-changing lights directed onto paintings, to give the impression of movement and color morphing.
Tawes is one of 20 U.S. artists recently selected for promotion by the international project Left-Handed & Creative, which aims to promote left-handed artists from all over the world, according to its website.
Tawes has a degree of ambidexterity and can paint two almost-identical paintings at a time, with a brush held in each hand, he said.
He worked for years as a commercial artist and as a caricature artist in the amusement park Silver Dollar City in Branson, Mo. About 14 years ago, he moved to Millville for its Glasstown Arts District.
Millville glass manufacturing company Friedrich & Dimmock Inc. once hired him to do a large-scale caricature painting of all 50 of its employees and gave prints to their workers for Christmas, he said. A supervisor told him the painting had improved relationships between all employees, from management to workers.
It gave them a new way of seeing each other, Tawes said.
Visit Tawes’ YouTube channel to see videos on LEDism and other paintings.
Singing for Temple
Absegami High School graduate and Temple University undergraduate Kaitlyn Sutton, 21, who grew up in Galloway Township and made headlines as a teen singer, has been selected to speak in New York at a program organized by the Metropolitan Chapter of her university’s Alumni Association.
It was aimed at connecting Temple alumni, she said.
Sutton, the daughter of retired Atlantic City police officers Kathleen Thompson and Kirk Sutton Sr., worked in 2013 for the Atlantic City Alliance as a DOAC #DO crew member, acting as a brand ambassador for the resort’s marketing campaign, she said.
The public relations and marketing major at Temple continues to sing in Philadelphia at Temple men’s basketball games and has sung at a few 76ers games, she said.