Capturing Bill’s Spirit and Charm

Memories and stories filled Bella's on Saturday as Bill Shumate, 1930 to 2020, was fondly remembered.
“Bill Shumate” portrait, 24 x 18, mixed media, by Tatiana Rugers/Image courtesy of the artist.

Memories and stories filled Bella’s Italian Cafe on Saturday as restaurateur Bill Shumate, 1930 to 2020, was fondly remembered by family, friends and restaurant colleagues at the popular south Tampa restaurant. The award-winning restaurant, which Mr. Shumate and Joanie Corneil started in 1986, is today a Tampa institution and a go-to place for authentic Italian cuisine.

At the celebration of life, a portrait of Mr. Shumate by fine artist Tatiana Rugers was unveiled by Ms. Corneil, a well-known restaurateur.

“Tatiana is so gifted. She captured Bill’s spirit as well as his charm. Bill would be so pleased. I’m thrilled!, Ms Corneil said.

“Painting portraits commissions are always like great adventures to me,” artist Rugers said. “With every day and every brush stroke it feels like I connect to the person I paint on many different levels. 

“Painting a portrait of Bill Shumate was an honor,” she said, “but also was extra special and emotional to me. I saw his face coming alive in my painting which every day would bring great memories of many years of our friendship, restaurant Bella’s and many great events with Joanie and Bill.”

Artist bio:

Tatiana Rugers specializes in portraits, Trompe l’Oeil and fine art.  The Russian-American artist moved to the USA in 1993 and became a citizen. She resides in Tampa Bay, Florida, where she works as a full-time professional portrait artist. As an internationally renowned artist, she has exhibited in France, USA, Italy, Germany, Russia, Netherlands and Japan. Her fine art and portraits adorn private collections in the USA and abroad.

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Portrait of Bill Shumate, which will be on permanent display at Bella’s, was unveiled on Saturday during a gathering of guests at the restaurant/Photo courtesy of artist Tatiana Rugers.
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