Laura Young
ECB Publishing, Inc.

Quia Z. Atkinson’s exhibition, Lux Perpetual, opens at the Jefferson Arts Gallery on Saturday, February 5 and promises a stunning mixed-media art show. Inspired by the world around her, Atkinson creates three-dimensional abstract pieces using resin and acrylic embellished with materials like glass and crystals.
“I really find inspiration in nature and travel,” says Atkinson. “God gave us the perfect landscape for creativity: the colors of the sky and the ocean, the rocks, the flowers, the animals.”
Atkinson says his richly flowing artwork also expresses a desire for constant movement, which is an extension of his upbringing in a military family that lived in many culturally rich places, including Norway and Morocco.
Although Atkinson enjoyed drawing as a child, she did not become a self-taught professional artist until later in life. When her younger sister was diagnosed with brain cancer at the age of nine, Atkinson found solace creating, drawing and playing the piano during the difficult time for her family as her sister underwent treatment and became a cancer survivor. Growing up with parents who were Marines, Atkinson felt a strong pull to serve in the military. In high school, she was in the U.S. Army Reserves and as a result went to college on a full Army ROTC scholarship. At Florida A&M University, Atkinson earned a degree in healthcare management with a minor in military science.
“I never thought art would be a career for me,” she says.
For many years, she focused on work, home and family. Then, in 2016, she opened her own art studio at her home in Tallahassee and named it QZ Design Gallery.
“I rediscovered my passion for art later in life, and my creativity evolved over the years,” she says. “Every time I think I’ve found my style, there’s something new that I want to try to immerse myself in. As artists, we are always evolving as our lives and the world change around us. We adapt and evolve with our art. When I started painting, I only used acrylic on canvas. Now I use acrylic, resin, crushed class, crystals, glitter, gesso, pigments, alcohol inks, pastes and the list goes on and on!
Working with resin can be tricky, Atkinson says, because weather, the application of heat, and the weather all affect the end result. It’s very rewarding, however, partly because over 90% of his creations are commissioned.
“The relationship between me and my client is extremely important,” she says. “I take what’s in their imagination and bring it to life. It’s the greatest feeling to deliver a custom piece of art to a customer’s home and they jump for joy. I want my artwork to provide warmth, happiness and be an uplifting aspect in my client’s home or office. »
The success of QZ Design Gallery does not only come from the creativity of Atkinson. All members of her blended family from five locations stepped up to support her.
“All my creations are made in my home studio. I like to create at home. I’m surrounded by my family and our dog, and that helps my creative energy. My husband Morgan, who I couldn’t live without, professionally packs and ships my artwork and decor! My son James (17) is also an artist and has a keen eye on what I’m working on. Camryn (16) helps with the business end and Olivia (10) provides constant encouragement.
In addition to her personal and commissioned artwork, Atkinson also offers classes where she teaches clients her process when creating their own multimedia pieces. To view his works and find course information, visit qzdesigngallery.com.
Atkinson’s Perpetual Lux exhibition opens at the Jefferson Arts Gallery, located at 575 W. Washington St., from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, February 5 and runs through Wednesday, March 2. Regular gallery hours are Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Wednesday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Or call (850) 997-3311 for an after-hours appointment . For an overview of Atkinson’s art, visit www.jeffersonartsgallery.com. So make plans to see it in person!

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