Sunday January, 12 2014 , his remains were put to rest. As many people have been going through many changes during the last decade, drastic changes in our economy and lifestyles affected TW Curtis just like it affected many others, in different ways.
It has been mentioned that TW Curtis was very private, however everyone knew he liked to paint in the nude. It has also been mentioned that he was humble. Everyone knew he spoke about himself in third person. He enjoyed life and people!
I was very fortunate to have met this man, worked with this man and developed a friendship. The TW Curtis I knew was a man who could be very arrogant, enjoyed drinking, had fun and he LOVED the ladies! He was also a Great artist that was educated, understood the business and for the most part of his adult life was married. His ex-wife was a huge part of his success as an artist. These were things that were told to me by the man himself, TW Curtis.
Previous to all the Arts Associations that have been recently created in St. Petersburg , TW Curtis was President of St. Pete’s art association. He also owned various galleries and did sell other artist work through his galleries. Good bad or indifferent he did help other artist profit from their labor, their profession. It is not an easy business, however through all his success he made it look easy.
I met TW Curtis a little after he had been in the hospital because of too much drinking. He was very much aware of the choices he made that led him into the life style and consequences of that life style. The good news was he learned a lot about himself during his darkest moments. He did understand that everything happens for a reason and he did take ownership of everything that had happened to him in his life.
I moved to St. Pete to get involved in The Arts community. I too had gone through a downward spiral life changing experience and made a conscious decision I was going to live my life and make a career, only doing things I was passionate about. St. Pete was the perfect place to fulfill my dreams.
I was very fortunate to have met TW Curtis early on. He was first mentioned to me by a GREAT classical pianist Deborah Siladie, who was also one of the first people I met within the arts here in St. Pete. After a brief introduction at Cassis, we became facebook friends and I was invited to his 2010 Sag birthday party at the Vinoy. He attracted very cool people and thanks to him, I met most of the people who today I consider my friends.
Timing was right for both of us. If either of us would have not gone through what we went through, we probably would have never become friends.
As journalist, content provider , radio show host for St. Pete Buzz and TW ‘s friend, The Buzz I would like everyone to know about TW Curtis is this: He was a very talented artist that understood his business. His Art may have been considered dated, however it was also his BRAND his style. You see a piece of TW Curtis art work and you know it is a TW Curtis piece. He was also making strives to stay relevant. He was finding new ways of developing new business opportunities. He was not afraid to work.
As far as I know TW Curtis is THE ONLY artist that has been invited to have a piece of his art work in The Dali museum. He painted the piano that was exhibited at The Dali museum for “Los Suenos Azules de Dali” and became another part of his signature.
He was my friend and friend to many others. He would not sugar coat anything. You would always know what he thought about a person. It did not mean he was always right and he did admit to his shortcomings, just not publicly.
The last time I spoke to TW Curtis he was standing right next to his favorite table at Cassis. It was December 21, 2013. He looked very handsome. There was a peace to him that I found out of character. He always spoke with passion and conviction. He seemed very at peace. It was so noticeable that when I saw my husband the first thing I said was “I just spoke to TW and he was talking in an extremely peaceful way. It was actually kind of weird to me”.
I am so glad I had a chance to talk to him that day and give him a hug before we parted ways permanently.
There is so much I could share about the TW Curtis I knew, however the message I want to leave you all with is, he was interesting, talented, intelligent and no push over. He would speak his mind and would back off when corrected as long as he understood your point.
He was a GREAT friend and mentor to me. I can only speak for myself and the TW I got to know.
FAREWELL MY DEAR FRIEND. YOU ARE MISSED and until we meet again, You will be remembered by me and many as The GREAT Artist that you were and an ICON of St. Petersburg, Fl Art Community.
By: Ann Marie Cash Levasseur , Journalist and host of St. Pete Buzz