Glass artist wins best-in-show at Mainsail Arts Festival

ST. PETERSBURG — After a sunny start Saturday, the Mainsail Arts Festival in Vinoy Park got bogged down in intermittent rain Sunday. Co-chairman Lisa Wells, who has been a volunteer with the outdoor show for more than 20 years, said the show would go on.

"We're rain or shine," she said, "unless there's lightning, which isn't predicted."

She thought crowds were above average on Saturday, "maybe because people read the reports for Sunday."

A big bright spot for 57 of the 250 artists exhibiting was the awards ceremony before Mainsail opened Sunday.

It was a very good day for Duncan McClellan, the popular glass artist who created a sculpture for this year's poster. Festival judge Michael Milkovich gave his work best of show. And he was elected by a sponsor for a purchase award.

James Michaels, the painter who won best of show at the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts in March, was given the 35th Anniversary Award, a one-time honor to celebrate Mainsail's history.

Both artists have a long association with Mainsail, participating almost since it began. McClellan said that his $10,000 award would help finish a studio and gallery he's building in St. Petersburg.

Michaels and his wife, Julie, were trying to forestall leaks in their booth when they learned of the award.

"This isn't like most booths here that are bought. I made it 25 years ago," he said.

Milkovich, who was the long-time director of the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg before retiring in 2001, said he has watched it grow "into one of the top open-air exhibitions in the country. I could have given 100 awards."

He was fortunate to have been here to give any. Four days ago, he was visiting family in Prague and made one of the last flights out before volcanic ash shut down most European airports.

Lennie Bennett can be reached at lennie@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8293.

Mainsail Arts Festival Winners

Best of Mainsail ($10,000)

Duncan McClellan, glass.

35th Anniversary Award ($3,500)

James Michaels, oil.

Awards of Excellence ($1,500)

Ray Cannata, wood; Susan Livingston, sculpture; John Costin, graphics; Paul Lamontagne, sculpture; John Mascoll, wood; Don Carter, wood; Russell Yerkes, watercolors; John Moore, ceramics; James Spiroff, ceramics; Susan Gott, glass.

Awards of Distinction ($1,000)

Paul Montecalvo, photography; Paul Albritton, jewelry; Ilkin Veniz, oil/acrylic; David Goldhagen, glass; John Krieger, oil/acrylic; Jim Holehouse, watercolors; Jeff Ripple, photography; Allan Hamwi, sculpture; Will Corr, mixed media; Yasuko Nakamura, ceramics; Chuck Boux, glass; Oren Estell, sculpture; Deborah Ciotti, fibers; Larry Hutchison, wood; Paul Stevens, photography; Vicki Tindall, ceramics; Lee Jones, metals.

Awards of Merit ($500)

Sue Archer, watercolors; David Gordon, oil/acrylic; Marius Moore, photography; Judith Wood, mixed media; Kim Koch, jewelry; Paul Shatz, photography; Jeff Eckert, graphics; Beau Stahl, graphics; Dobson Cundiff, oil/acrylic; Clayton Swartz, sculpture; William Kwamena-Poh, watercolors; Gaston Petridis, oil/acrylic; Sana Doumet, jewelry; Karen Chen, watercolors; Lisa Svedberg, jewelry; Steven and Kim Schramek, glass; Brian Murphy, oil/acrylic; Nancy Cervenka, sculpture; Elliot Hubbard, ceramics.

Purchase Awards ($200)

Lorri Hunnicutt, photography by Anthony J. LaSpada, P.A.; Holly Hambrick, mixed media by the Mahaffey Company; John Moore, ceramic by Douglas C. Buchan & Associates; John Smith, oil/acrylic by Wells Houser & Schatzel, P.A.; Gail Markiewicz, ceramics, by William & Sally Snyder; Don Bodenberg, jewelry, by Douglas C. Buchan & Associates; Elliot Hubbard, ceramics by Fred and Monika MacFawn; Duncan McClellan, glass by Stovall Chiropractic Clinic; and Ellie Diez-Massaro, mixed media by Leslie Curran and Interior Motives Gallery.

Glass artist wins best-in-show at Mainsail Arts Festival 04/18/10 [Last modified: Sunday, April 18, 2010 3:33pm]

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