By Andy LePage
How wonderful it is to find the hidden gold in another and then to celebrate it. Recently I found such hidden gold in BJ Andryusky, the Coordinator of St. Pete Time Bank. And what hidden gold it is!
BJ has given a huge amount of help to us in at Spring Hill Time Bank, in as far as we’re new and kind of “green” in understanding the finer points of moving around the website and in learning about the inner workings of Time Banking. Although she and I have had many conversations, it wasn’t until the end of last November that she mentioned she was having a guest exhibit at the Dali in early December.
Recently I spoke with her again about Time Banking and at the end of our conversation — a conversation that always includes her great computer instruction — I asked how her art show had gone. She was so excited. Although there wasn’t a formal judging of the new talent exhibitors that BJ was a part of, among the twelve exhibitors, she was in what would have been first place! Her work was so favorably received by the Dali staff, that she hopes to be able to exhibit there again, as well as have some of her art for sale in their gift store.
On her Facebook page, BJ writing about herself and her art states: “I am an artist with an exceptional skill for turning domestic items like vases, boxes, and jars into affordable metallic-looking art. I do this by working my magic with polymer clay; often in an industrial, steampunk or bohemian style. You will find each piece is handmade and one of a kind. A true conversation, collectible piece!”
In case anyone reading this piece thinks that BJ has an exaggerated sense of herself and her talent, please use one of the links at the end of this article to see her incredible ability and to know that she honestly speaks her truth.
One of BJ’s customers wrote this about her art: “I can’t begin to tell you how beautiful these pieces are. BJ is currently working on a custom piece for me, but I did purchase some ornaments from her for gifts, and both people I gave them to absolutely loved them. There is such attention to detail and creativity in each piece.”
Another said: “I can’t thank you enough BJ for creating the customized book ends for my Father-in-law’s 80th birthday gift! He absolutely loved them and everyone at the party was completely blown away by the craftsmanship and creativity of the pieces!”
We may never know about all the talent the great people whom we meet in Time Banking have. But as we get to know our fellow Time Bankers, we will find that many, like BJ, have their own form of hidden gold.
The name of BJ’s business is Dragonfly Antics. Readers may know that the dragonfly is a strong-bodied, non-stinging insect which helps to keep the mosquito population down and has wings that stay outstretched rather than folded when at rest. This is great symbology for how BJ watches over all of us in the Time Bank. Even at rest, she has her great wings outstretched ready at a moment’s notice to help someone, to encourage us to be our best, and to hold other coordinator’s hands (mine and many others’!) as they try to navigate the inner workings of Time Banking. She is as skillful in helping us find answers to our questions as she is in nimbly crafting magnificent pieces of art from a tattered jewelry box or a broken vase. We are fortunate she is in our midst! Check out this gifted lady’s website at dragonflyantics.com and at facebook.com/pg/dragonflyantics/about/