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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

Gasparilla art fest aims to make kids art collectors



kidsonly.jpgOne little-known new feature at this weekend’s Gasparilla Festival of the Arts is aimed at a new market: kids as art collectors. The Art Collectors in Training program provides a kids-only shopping area where children can view and purchase works from participating artists at the festival.

In a test run of the program last year, more than 100 artists donated 180 small pieces of art to the program with the pieces priced at $5 to $10. The money from the sales is donated to the Children’s Cancer Center.

Artwork will be labeled with the artists’ names and booth locations so that the kids and their parents can meet the artists themselves.

Brenda Gregory, who spearheads this future-patrons program for the festival, said she has at least 130 artists donating work this year.

“We asked them to donate pieces that in their minds are $25 or so, and a lot of times we get pieces that are worth way more than that. That’s why we keep the parents out,” Gregory said, noting that she put out a pair of earrings last year that had been marked $35.

“We really want the children to make their own decisions,” Gregory said. “We tell them ‘This is just a very small piece of this artist’s work,’ and we encourage them to go meet the artists and start making their own decisions to get the bug of purchasing art.”

Look for a tent that says Art Collectors in Training set up near the Glazer Children’s Museum in the middle of Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, 600 N Ashley Drive in downtown Tampa. It will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Since this is for kids only, parents will be asked to wait outside as the kids do their shopping.

--Sharon Kennedy Wynne

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[Last modified: Friday, March 4, 2011 3:13pm]


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