Testosterone is a crucial hormone for men and plays an important role throughout the male lifespan. Most of a male's testosterone is produced through the testicles. Also called the male sex hormone, testosterone starts playing its part during puberty.
When a male goes through puberty, testosterone helps males develop:
As boys turn to men and men grow older, testosterone levels deplete naturally. Sometimes, events like injuries and chronic health conditions like diabetes can lower testosterone levels. Unfortunately, when a man loses too much T, it results in hypogonadism. When this happens, the testosterone must be replaced, or the male will suffer from symptoms like muscle loss, low libido, and even depression.
TRT is exactly what it sounds like: a treatment option for men that replaces testosterone so that your body regulates hormones properly and restores balance to your life. Also called androgen replacement therapy, TRT alleviates the symptoms that men experience with low T.
Originally lab-synthesized in 1935, testosterone has grown in popularity since it was produced. Today, TRT and other testosterone treatments are among the most popular prescriptions in the U.S.
Without getting too deep into the science, TRT works by giving your body the essential testosterone it needs to function correctly. As the primary androgen for both males and females, testosterone impacts many of the body's natural processes â especially those needed for overall health. For example, men with low T are more prone to serious problems like cardiovascular disease and even type-2 diabetes.
When your body quits making enough testosterone, it causes your health to suffer until a solution is presented. That's where TRT and anti-aging medicine for men can help. TRT helps balance your hormones and replenish your depleted testosterone. With time, your body will begin to heal, and many symptoms like low libido and irritability begin to diminish.
For men, aging is the biggest contributor to lower testosterone levels, though there are other causes like obesity, drug abuse, testicular injuries, and certain prescribed medications. Sometimes, long-term health conditions like AIDS, cirrhosis of the liver, and kidney disease can lower testosterone levels.
When a man's testosterone levels drop significantly, it alters his body's ratio of estrogen and testosterone. Lower testosterone levels cause more abdominal fat, which in turn results in increased aromatase, which converts even more testosterone into estrogen.
If you're concerned that you might have low T, you're not alone. Millions of men in the U.S. feel the same way. The best way to find out if your testosterone is low is to get your levels tested.
For sustainable testosterone replacement therapy benefits, you must consult with hormone doctors and experts like those you can find at Global Life Rejuvenation. That way, you can find the root cause of your hormone problems, and our team can craft a personalized HRT plan tailored to your needs.
One of the most common reasons that men choose TRT is because they have lost that "spark" with their partner. It's not easy for a man to hear that they're not performing like they used to. Intimacy is a powerful part of any relationship. When a once-healthy sex life dwindles, it can cause serious relationship issues.
The good news is that low libido doesn't have to be a permanent problem. TRT and anti-aging medicines help revert hormone levels back into their normal range. When this happens, many men have a more enjoyable life full of intimacy and sex drive.
Weak erections â it's an uncomfortable subject for many men in the U.S. to talk about. It's even worse to experience first-hand. You're in the midst of an intimate moment, and you can't do your part. Despite being perfectly normal, many men put blame and shame upon themselves when they can't achieve an erection. And while the inability to perform sexually can be caused by poor diet, obesity, and chronic health conditions, low testosterone is often a contributing factor.
Fortunately, weak erections are a treatable condition. The best way to regain your confidence and ability in bed is to speak with your doctor. Once any underlying conditions are discovered, options like TRT may be the best course of treatment.
Do you find it harder and harder to work out and lift weights in the gym? Are you having problems lifting heavy items that you once had no problem lifting?
Recent studies show that when men are inactive, they lose .5% of muscle strength every year, from ages 25 to 60. After 60, muscle loss doubles every decade. While some muscle loss is common as men age, a significant portion can be tied to low testosterone levels. When a man's T levels drop, so does his muscle mass.
Testosterone is a much-needed component used in gaining and retaining muscle mass. That's why many doctors prescribe TRT Southgate, FL, for men having problems with strength. One recent study found that men who increased their testosterone levels using TRT gained as much as 2.5 pounds of muscle mass.
Whether your gym performance is lacking, or you can't lift heavy items like you used to, don't blame it all on age. You could be suffering from hypogonadism.
If you're like millions of other men in their late 20s and 30s, dealing with hair loss is a reality you don't want to face. Closely related to testosterone decline and hormone imbalances, hair loss is distressing for many men. This common symptom is often related to a derivative of testosterone called DHT. Excess amounts of DHT cause hair follicles to halt their production, causing follicles to die.
Because hair located at the front and crown is more sensitive to DHT, it grows slower than other follicles and eventually stops growing permanently. Thankfully, TRT and anti-aging treatments for men in Southgate, FL, is now available to address hair loss for good.
While it's true that you can't change your genes, you can change the effects of low testosterone on your body. Whether you're suffering from thinning hair or hair loss across your entire head, TRT and other hormone therapies can stop hair loss and even reverse the process.
Also called "man boobs," gynecomastia is essentially the enlargement of male breast tissue. This increase in fatty tissue is often caused by hormonal imbalances and an increase in estrogen. For men, estrogen levels are elevated during andropause. Also called male menopause, andropause usually happens because of a lack of testosterone.
If you're a man between the ages of 40 and 55, and you're embarrassed by having large breasts, don't lose hope. TRT is a safe, effective way to eliminate the underlying cause of gynecomastia without invasive surgery. With a custom HRT and fitness program, you can bring your testosterone and estrogen levels back to normal before you know it.
Decreased energy was once considered a normal part of aging. Today, many doctors know better. Advances in technology and our understanding of testosterone show that low T and lack of energy often go hand-in-hand.
If you're struggling to enjoy activities like playing with your kids or hiking in a park due to lack of energy, it could be a sign of low T. Of course, getting tired is perfectly normal for any man. But if you're suffering from continual fatigue, a lack of enjoyment, or a decrease in energy, it might be time to speak with a doctor.
Whether you're having a tough time getting through your day or can't finish activities you used to love, TRT could help.
A study from 2011 showed that men who lose a week's worth of sleep can experience lowered testosterone levels â as much as 15%, according to experts. Additional research into the topic found almost 15% of workers only get five hours of sleep (or less) per night. These findings suggest that sleep loss negatively impacts T levels and wellbeing.
The bottom line is that men who have trouble sleeping often suffer from lower testosterone levels as a result. If you find yourself exhausted at the end of the day but toss and turn all night long, you might have low T.
TRT and anti-aging medicines can restore your T levels back to normal, which can help you sleep better with proper diet and exercise.
You're feeling down about everything, and there's no solid explanation for why you're in such a crummy mood. Your daily life is great and full of success, but you can't help but feel unexcited and unmotivated. If you're experiencing symptoms like these, you may be depressed â and it may stem from low testosterone.
A research study from Munich found that men with depression also commonly had low testosterone levels. This same study also found that depressed men had cortisol levels that were 67% higher than other men. Because higher cortisol levels lead to lower levels of testosterone, the chances of severe depression increase.
Depression is a very real disorder and should always be diagnosed and treated by your doctor. One treatment option gaining in popularity is TRT for depression. Studies show that when TRT is used to restore hormone levels, men enjoy a lighter, more improved mood. That's great news for men who are depressed and have not had success with other treatments like anti-depression medicines, which alter the brain's chemistry.
Ask anyone over the age of 50 how their memory is, and they'll tell you it wasn't what it used to be. Memory loss and lack of concentration occur naturally as we age â these aren't always signs of dementia or Alzheimer's.
However, what many men consider a symptom of age may be caused by low testosterone. A 2006 study found that males with low T levels performed poorly on cognitive skill tests. These results suggest that low testosterone may play a part in reducing cognitive ability. If you're having trouble staying on task or remembering what your schedule is for the day, it might not be due to your age. It might be because your testosterone levels are too low. If you're having trouble concentrating or remembering daily tasks, it could be time to talk to your doctor.
Why? The aforementioned study found that participating men experienced improved cognitive skills when using TRT.
Even though today's society is more inclusive of large people, few adults enjoy gaining weight as they age. Despite their best efforts, many men just can't shed the extra pounds around their midsections, increasing their risk of heart disease and cancer.
Often, male weight gain is caused by hormone imbalances that slow the metabolism and cause weight to pile on. This phase of life is called andropause and happens when there is a lack of testosterone in the body. Couple that with high cortisol levels, and you've got a recipe for flabby guts and double chins.
Fortunately, TRT treatments and physician-led weight loss programs can correct hormone imbalances and lead to healthy weight loss for men.
Sermorelin is a synthetic hormone peptide, like GHRH, which triggers the release of growth hormones. When used under the care of a qualified physician, Sermorelin can help you lose weight, increase your energy levels, and help you feel much younger.
Human growth hormone (HGH) therapy has been used for years to treat hormone deficiencies. Unlike HGH, which directly replaces declining human growth hormone levels, Sermorelin addresses the underlying cause of decreased HGH, stimulating the pituitary gland naturally. This approach keeps the mechanisms of growth hormone production active.
Benefits of Sermorelin include:
Ipamorelin helps to release growth hormones in a person's body by mimicking a peptide called ghrelin. Ghrelin is one of three hormones which work together to regulate the growth hormone levels released by the pituitary gland. Because Ipamorelin stimulates the body to produce growth hormone, your body won't stop its natural growth hormone production, which occurs with synthetic HGH.
Ipamorelin causes growth hormone secretion that resembles natural release patterns rather than being constantly elevated from HGH. Because ipamorelin stimulates the natural production of growth hormone, our patients can use this treatment long-term with fewer health risks.
One of the biggest benefits of Ipamorelin is that it is suitable for both men and women. It provides significant short and long-term benefits in age management therapies, boosting patients' overall health, wellbeing, and outlook on life. When growth hormone is produced by the pituitary gland using Ipamorelin, clients report amazing benefits.
Some of those benefits include:
Whether you are considering our TRT services, HRT for women, or our growth hormone peptide services, we are here to help. The first step to turning back the hand of time starts by contacting Global Life Rejuvenation.
Our friendly, knowledgeable TRT and HRT experts can help answer your questions and walk you through our procedures. From there, we'll figure out which treatments are right for you. Before you know it, you'll be well on your way to looking and feeling better than you have in years!973-587-8638
Top CDFA Expert Discussing Citrus Greening Disease HLB Wed 9-21-22 7pCalifornia Agriculture journal, September 2017. Review article. Biocontrol program targets Asian citrus psyllid in California’s urban areas (Ivan Milosavljevic; et al., California Agriculture.)This Meeting brought to you, the public by California Rare Fruit Growers South Orange County Chapter https://www.southoccrfg.orgThe Speaker is THE CDFA supervisor in charge of handl...
California Agriculture journal, September 2017. Review article. Biocontrol program targets Asian citrus psyllid in California’s urban areas (Ivan Milosavljevic; et al., California Agriculture.)
This Meeting brought to you, the public by California Rare Fruit Growers South Orange County Chapter https://www.southoccrfg.org
The Speaker is THE CDFA supervisor in charge of handling the HLB Citrus disease and thequarantine covering many parts of California.His jurisdiction is ALL of California .Basically - TOP Person on this.
Sept 21st Wednesday Sept 21st 7 pm ZOOM meetingSpeaker Keith Okasaki CDFA Senior Environmental Scientist (Supervisor)Citrus Pest & Disease Prevention DivisionCalifornia Department of Food & AgricultureStatewide citrus pest quarantine supervisor...He is the TOP person in California on the citrus quarantine, not an assistant.The topic will beAsian Citrus Psyllid and Huanglongbing (Citrus Greening) in California, Facts and MythsYou can submit questions you want covered when registering (then they WILL be submitted to the speaker )ONLY THE FIRST 100 people will be allowed to attend, due to our ZOOM account limit.South OC chapter members were invited FIRSTNow it is open to the public to attendTo sign up, fill out the form at:https://forms.gle/K8oEgJgzbP7f...We will email ZOOM link to people signed up prior to the meeting.The meeting will be recorded for those unable to attend, then at a later date, it will be posted to the South OC CRFG YouTube account.
South OC CRFG chapterhttps://southoccrfg.org/Any Questions for our chapter contact us through our website athttps://southoccrfg.org/Contac...we find that emails get buried, our contact us page does not also, we do not accept solicitations of any kind.If you are not familiar with HLB,content below explaining it is from https://cisr.ucr.edu/invasive-...
Huanglongbing, (HLB, Citrus Greening) Candidatus Liberibacter africanus, Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus and Candidatus Liberibacter americanusThe Situation:Citrus huanglongbing (HLB), previously called citrus greening disease, is one of the most destructive diseases of citrus worldwide. Originally thought to be caused by a virus, it is now known to be caused by unculturable phloem-limited bacteria. There are three forms of greening that have been described. The African form produces symptoms only under cool conditions and is transmitted by the African citrus psyllid Trioza erytreae, while the Asian form prefers warmer conditions and is transmitted by the psyllid. The HLB bacteria can infect most citrus cultivars, species and hybrids and even some citrus relatives. Leaves of newly infected trees develop a blotchy mottle appearance. On chronically infected trees, the leaves are small and exhibit asymmetrical blotchy mottling (in contrast to Zinc deficiency that causes symmetrical blotching). Fruit from HLB-infected trees are small, lopsided, poorly colored, and contain aborted seeds. The juice from affected fruit is low in soluble solids, high in acids and abnormally bitter. The fruit retains its green color at the navel end when mature, which is the reason for the common name "citrus greening disease." This fruit is of no value because of poor size and quality. There is no cure for the disease and rapid tree removal is critical for prevention of spread...Economic Impact:HLB is one of the most devastating diseases of citrus and since its discovery in Florida in 2005, citrus acreage in that state has declined significantly. If the disease were to establish in California, the nursery industry would be required to move all of their production under screenhouses, pesticide treatments for the vector would be instituted resulting in greatly increased pesticide costs (3-6 treatments per year) and indirect costs due to pesticide-induced disruption of integrated pest management programs for other citrus pests. A costly eradication program would need to be instituted to remove infected trees in order to protect the citrus industry.Distribution of HLB: In April 2012, after about a week of testing, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) removed a pumelo tree with a lemon graft from Hacienda Heights inLos Angeles County after the tree and an Asian citrus psyllid found on the tree both tested positive for Huanglongbing.In 2005, HLB was also found in Florida and it is now known to occur in Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina, Cuba, Belze and Eastern Mexico. Worldwide, HLB is also present in China, eastern and southern Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Mauritius, Reunion, the Saudi Arabian peninsula, and southeast Asia.Research: Research is focusing on characterization of the bacteria, development of detection methods, and control of the disease and the psyllid.To date, control of the disease is based on planting HLB-free citrus germplasm, eradication of infected citrus plants, and control of the vector with systemic insecticides. Countries with HLB learn to manage the disease so that they can still produce citrus. In California, the best strategyis to keep this disease out. This goal is supported by both federal and state quarantine regulations and the University of California's Citrus Clonal Protection Program, which provides a mechanism for the safe introduction of citrus germplasm into California.
People from the media also welcome to attend.
A joint venture between Chance Partners and EJF Capital has secured $95 million in refinancing to replace the construction loan for The Exchange and Barlow multifamily properties in the San Marco neighborhood of Jacksonville, Fla. CBRE Capital Markets arranged the permanent loan provided by MetLife.The 196-unit The Exchange, located at 1810 Bertha St., offers one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, from 632 square feet to 1,450 square feet. The property was completed...
A joint venture between Chance Partners and EJF Capital has secured $95 million in refinancing to replace the construction loan for The Exchange and Barlow multifamily properties in the San Marco neighborhood of Jacksonville, Fla. CBRE Capital Markets arranged the permanent loan provided by MetLife.
The 196-unit The Exchange, located at 1810 Bertha St., offers one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, from 632 square feet to 1,450 square feet. The property was completed in June 2021 and includes two-story corner units with floor-to-ceiling glass and select units at the property have balconies overlooking the pool.
The 290-unit Barlow, located at 1900 Olevia St., offers one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, ranging from 632 square feet to 1,522 square feet. It was completed in December 2021 and features ground-floor residences with direct access to the street.
Amenities at both developments include controlled access, keyless entry, smart home technology and Wi-Fi thermostats. Residents have access to conveniences that include co-working space, a digital lounge, indoor and outdoor social areas, a resort-style pool, a 24/7 fitness center and a dog park and pet spa.
“Jacksonville has shown over past couple of years a strong immigration of population and success with job growth across multiple sectors. For the developments, we focused on walkability to historic San Marco and access to … the healthcare care jobs nearby in the Southbank,” Jeff Rosen, principal with Chance Partners, told Multi-Housing News.
He noted The Exchange and Barlow are a few blocks away from San Marco Square, the heart of the San Marco community, putting residents within walking distance of many dining and retail options.
The partners have three other multifamily assets in Jacksonville, with two under construction. The 284-unit San Marco Promenade, located at 1905 Promenade Way, opened in August 2020. The 226-unit Eastborough, located at 1906 Promenade Way, is slated for completion in the first quarter of 2023. The 295-unit Southgate, located at 3428 Beach Blvd., on the site of the former Southgate Plaza shopping center, is expected to be finished in the fourth quarter of 2023.
Chance Partners has three Florida multifamily properties of its own, including two in Jacksonville. The 234-unit The Sagefield, located at 13283 N. Main St., was recently completed and the 290-unit The Note will begin construction in the summer. The company is building the 330-unit The Juliette in Wildwood, with the project expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2023.
Chance Partners and EJF Capital were represented in the refinancing transaction by Philip Rachels, Jeff Kinney and Brett Bosworth with CBRE.
Residents in the Dixieland and Lake Morton neighborhoods expressed a common theme during Monday night’s informational meeting regarding changes to South Florida Avenue: Temporary improvements may be helping South Florida, but the problems are shifting to nearby residential streets.“The traffic is bleeding over to our neighborhoods,” said Rick Soto, who lives at 912 S. Missouri Ave., west of South Florida Avenue. “The stop sign at Cresap and Missouri — people are running that every day. “The city nee...
Residents in the Dixieland and Lake Morton neighborhoods expressed a common theme during Monday night’s informational meeting regarding changes to South Florida Avenue: Temporary improvements may be helping South Florida, but the problems are shifting to nearby residential streets.
“The traffic is bleeding over to our neighborhoods,” said Rick Soto, who lives at 912 S. Missouri Ave., west of South Florida Avenue. “The stop sign at Cresap and Missouri — people are running that every day. “The city needs to do something to slow traffic down.”
Along South Boulevard, east of South Florida, residents said they’re seeing similar problems.
“They might be making South Florida safer, but making our streets unsafe,” said Joan Musser, who has lived along South Boulevard for 37 years. “They can’t address one issue without addressing the other. It’s a ripple effect.
Musser said drivers appear to be speeding along her street as if it’s a thoroughfare, like South Florida.
Susan Richards, who lives behind Southgate Shopping Center, south of the Dixieland target zone, said traffic has increased in her neighborhood since the temporary improvements were completed in 2020.
“Traffic on the side streets had gotten terrible,” she said. “I want to see (South Florida Avenue) look better and I want the traffic to flow better, but there needs to be a solution for the side streets, as well.”
Richards, Soto and Musser were among more than 100 area residents who turned out Monday evening at the RP Funding Center to review the traffic data and proposed changes that engineers and planners with the city and the state Department of Transportation are considering. There were no presentations during the gathering, but rather an opportunity for the public to review the plans and talk one-on-one with officials involved.
View the posters that were displayed at the meeting here or at the end of this article.
Charles Barmby, the city’s planning and transportation manager, said the team is looking beyond the one-mile, 16-block stretch of South Florida between Ariana and Lime Streets when evaluating ways to make the area safer and more efficient.
“We’re evaluating how we can make operational improvements throughout the area, and we’re looking at the side streets to address cut-through issues” he said Monday.
He said things can be done economically to control traffic, including raised crosswalks that serve to reduce speeds along residential streets.
Wendy Johnson, co-owner of Krazy Kombucha at 1030 S. Florida Ave., said she’s ready for improvements that will make the road safer.
“I want to see it safer for people to cross,” she said. “There’s public parking on the west side of the road, and I’ve watched people trying to cross to get to our shop on the east side, and it’s scary.”
Johnson said she wants to see the sidewalks widened and improved, as well. “Even if they just fix the sidewalks, it would help,” she said. “They are old and crumbling.”
Barmby said the next step involves reviewing concerns and suggestions submitted by residents at Monday’s meeting and through an online survey, and to look at data analysis to move forward.
“We will begin with ‘Is what we have now acceptable?’” he said. “If it’s not, what options do we have?”
The Florida Department of Transportation and the city of Lakeland conducted a test run of reducing Florida Avenue from five lanes to three from April 2020 to April 2022. The formerly less-than-9-foot traffic lanes were widened to standard 11-foot lanes and temporary concrete barriers were erected to emulate future sidewalk placement.
The aims of the “road diet” are to improve safety for drivers and pedestrians, reduce speeding, upgrade sidewalks and create more opportunity for businesses along the corridor, according to state officials.
A consultant hired by the city of Lakeland has suggested nine possible ways to realign South Florida Avenue, including seven plans with three travel lanes and two plans with four travel lanes.
Barmby said the city staff should have a proposal to city commissioners later this summer. The City Commission will then make a recommendation to the Florida Department of Transportation regarding their preferred lane configuration.
“Ultimately, this will boil down to funding,” Barmby said. “The city and DOT are going to need to work together to budget it.”
MORE COVERAGE: The Ledger
Special to Jacksonville Florida Times-Union USA TODAY NETWORKA landmark shopping hub that has stood for decades on Beach Boulevard is about to be razed.Jacksonville building inspectors approved permits this month to tear down the Southgate Plaza shopping center just east of the St. Nicholas area. The center, built in 1957 according to property appraiser records, has been largely vacant at 3428 Beach Blvd. One of the few remaining tenants is a Subway sandwich shop among some other small businesses.The demolition will cost...
Special to Jacksonville Florida Times-Union USA TODAY NETWORK
A landmark shopping hub that has stood for decades on Beach Boulevard is about to be razed.
Jacksonville building inspectors approved permits this month to tear down the Southgate Plaza shopping center just east of the St. Nicholas area. The center, built in 1957 according to property appraiser records, has been largely vacant at 3428 Beach Blvd. One of the few remaining tenants is a Subway sandwich shop among some other small businesses.
The demolition will cost $500,000 to complete. Lockwood Quality Demolition Inc. is the contractor. A date has not been announced.
Out with the old, in with the new:After Berkman demolition, more high-profile Jacksonville buildings to come down this year
The Jacksonville Daly Record reported it will be redeveloped into nearly 300 apartments.
This also has been a trend in Jacksonville as several properties have been or are being razed to make way for new housing or apartments, including The Florida Times-Union's old Riverside Avenue site.
A new automated car wash facility is heading to University Boulevard between Philips Highway and Spring Park Road in Jacksonville.
Magnolia Wash Holdings is slated for the new 3,604-square-foot building. Permits for the new car wash were approved this month.
The facility is projected to cost $1.5 million at 5109 University Blvd. The contractor is MDM Services Inc.
125 W. Ashley St., interior renovations for First Baptist Church, 24,307 square feet, $816,550. Opus Group.
8808 Beach Blvd., remodeling of entire store for Walmart, $500,000. FMGI Inc.
760 Riverside Ave., interior renovations for VyStar Credit Union Riverside branch, 2,500 square feet, $452,820. Dana B. Kenyon Co.
4028 Timuquana Road, interior renovation for Timuquana Country Club Golf Shop, 2,850 square feet, $275,000. The Angelo Group Inc.
New venture for retail/grocery giant:Walmart joins health care demand with new clinics at Jacksonville, Middleburg, other stores
10161 N. Centurion Parkway, pour reinforced concrete for Rise General Contractors headquarters and Acorn Property Holdings, $250,000. Rise General Contractors LLC.
555 W. 44th St., replace Jacksonville Public Works fuel canopy at repair station after demolition of some of the existing areas of the service area, $171,132. Warden Contracting Corp.
8200 Cypress Plaza Drive, Unit 303, tenant buildout for Southern Athletica, $95,000. Osterer Construction Co. Inc.
8180 Merchant’s Gate Drive, Unit 108, tenant buildout, update restrooms, install new electrical fixtures and update central heat and air conditioning, $75,000. Combined Industries LLC.
The mid-century modern, 70-foot-tall orange arch and green slash, with Southgate scrawled across it in white, has long been an icon of the South Florida Avenue shopping center since it was built in 1957, making appearances in the films “Edward Scissorhands” and “The One and Only Ivan.”Now it is part of an award-winning painting by Lakeland artist Karla Pirona. “Southgate” earned first place in the “Faces and Places” regional juried show in ...
The mid-century modern, 70-foot-tall orange arch and green slash, with Southgate scrawled across it in white, has long been an icon of the South Florida Avenue shopping center since it was built in 1957, making appearances in the films “Edward Scissorhands” and “The One and Only Ivan.”
Now it is part of an award-winning painting by Lakeland artist Karla Pirona. “Southgate” earned first place in the “Faces and Places” regional juried show in Art Center Sarasota on June 8.
“In that painting, I explore a new approach in my artwork, inspired by the color of John Singer Sargent masterpieces,” said Pirona, who immigrated to the United States from Venezuela in 2017 and now calls South Lakeland home. “I was born there, but my family and me had to flee because of the political situation.”
She won first place in Venezuela for her first original painting. In 2012, she entered an international competition and one of her works was a top-10 finalist in the XXVII Diego de Losada Hispano-American Painting Contest in Spain as part of the Collective Exhibition at the Losada Palace, Zamora.
In addition, last year, one of her works representing Venezuelan migration was chosen for the Figurativas 2021 exhibit at the European Museum of Modern Art, the most prestigious figurative art competition worldwide.
Pirona said she was surrounded by art all of her life, at both her parents’ and grandparents’ homes. When she was 14, her father registered her in a summer painting workshop, where she learned the basics in drawing, oil painting and watercolors. She also studied music performance.
“In this journey as an artist, God was guiding every step,” said Pirona, 43. She is married and has four children, ages 7, 10, 14 and 21. “I didn’t intentionally pick being an artist. It’s something that chose me. It has been part of me since I remember and fills a huge part of my mind. I’m always feeling the need to paint. I can’t bear the burden of going one day without painting.”
Pirona said she wakes up at 3 a.m. to paint because her daylight hours are filled with caring for her 7-year-old son, who has special needs. She homeschools him and is his fulltime caregiver.
“I love this journey, and I’m deeply in love with oil painting,” she said.
The road to professional artist took a detour in college, where she studied chemical engineering, obtaining a master’s degree in process control engineering.
Still, she said, she maintained painting as a hobby, teaching herself the different techniques of masters like Diego Velázquez, Albrecht Dürer, Edward Degas and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. The calling to return to her first love was strong.
“I used to visit art salons, museums and exhibitions,” Pirona said. “Finally in 2010, I left the professional practice of engineering to dedicate myself entirely to (family) life and painting.”
She said she chose Southgate to paint for two reasons – one because of its beauty and the other because, after she painted it, she realized it is embedded into her subconscious.
“’Southgate’ shows one of the most emblematic urban landscapes of the city of Lakeland, where the light of dawn merges with the human creation, giving rise to a beautiful range of colors over the infrastructure,” Pirona said. “I think maybe everyone who lives, had lived, or just visited Lakeland has seen the Southgate arch, at least once in their life, since it was built. Its parabolic shape is interesting to depict because you can see a different perspective and overlapping of the arc lines depending on the spectator’s point of view.”
After finishing the work, she realized it wasn’t just an interesting architectural feature – it was an old friend.
“Days after I finished painting ‘Southgate,’ I read in the news about the 32nd anniversary of Edward Scissorhands movie that had a scene at ‘Southgate,’” Pirona said. “I watched that movie hundreds of times when I was younger — it was one of my favorite movies. I guess I had ‘Southgate’ in my subconscious mind, and I had to paint it.”
Pirona is currently working on more paintings showing her adopted hometown. After a two-year stay in Georgia, her husband, who is a chemical engineer, was offered a job here in 2019. And Pirona saw what residents know and love about Lakeland.
“Immediately, I fell in love with the beauty of the city, its weather, and the big sky views due to Florida topography,” she said. “So soon, you could see artworks of other emblematic Lakeland locations.”
For more information, visit: https://www.pironapainters.com/en/index.php?l=en.