Suncoast Arts Fest returns to Shops at Wiregrass

Five years ago, the Suncoast Arts Fest started out as a small, neighborhood-sized show in west Pasco. By May 2009, the show had expanded to more than 100 artists and crafts makers setting up shop in the winding streets of the huge Shops at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel, attracting more than 70,000 visitors in two days. On Saturday and Sunday, Pasco 's largest art celebration expands again.

This time, seven more arts venues across Pasco and upper Pinellas counties will hold shows and events at the same time the more than 120 artists and dozens of entertainers set up at Wiregrass (see list below).

"This promises to be an exciting weekend throughout Pasco County," said Laura Knox, publicist for the event.

The largest show will once more be at Wiregrass, with a big tent for ongoing live entertainment, a wide variety of one-of-a-kind, original artworks, and four sidewalk chalk artists drawing temporary murals during the festival.

"Live chalk art is a way for art patrons to experience the imagination of the artist as he or she creates masterpieces," Ms. Knox said. "The artists, in turn, can become inspired by the moment or possibly by interacting with the patrons."

The chalk artists, who will be just outside Macy's, are Carol Donoghue, a member of Florida Chalk Artists; Stig Lindow, a participant in the Avenida de Colores street art festival in Sarasota; Laurie Pinna, who was chairman of the Chalk Art Festival in Zephyrhills in 2006; and Javier Sanchez, a longtime chalk artist.

The booths will have a wide variety of art: handmade jewelry, pottery, photography, glass art, watercolors and other kinds of paintings, and wood furniture.

Some of the more unusual booths will feature Steve and Linda Dinwiddie's turned-wood writing pens, Keith Donaldson's silhouette portraits, Diane Jedlicki's hand-painted glassware, Stephanie Martin's dichroic glass (metal oxides) art, Lori Rosenberger's jewelry made from cracked vintage china, Phyllis Roth's fused stone jewelry and Carlos Vego's wood and bamboo flutes.

Seven other venues

Art lovers can make the Suncoast Arts Fest a genuine road trip by not only spending time at the booths at the Shops of Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel, but also by dropping by one or more of the seven other venues from Tarpon Springs to New Port Richey to Dade City participating in this year's event.

New Port Richey Public Library gets a head start on the festival with a free blues concert by Guy Davis at 5 p.m. today. The library is at 5939 Main St.

Progress Energy Art Gallery will continue its "Up For Interpretation" modern art exhibit from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. On Saturday, there will be booths for artists from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. along Grand Boulevard, and the Downtown Market in Railroad Square with entertainment by guitarist John Bell from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mini-walking tours of downtown to see several of the wall murals will be conducted at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. A children's art show will go from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the New Port Richey Aquatic and Recreation Complex, with a shuttle provided. The day culminates with an art seminar led by Ralph Butler, who designed the Florida commemorative quarter. The gallery is at 6231 Grand Blvd., New Port Richey.

West Pasco Art Guild will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday to show its nautical exhibit, "Water, Water, Everywhere," featuring 50 paintings by 40 different artists, items by the Suncoast Ship Model Society and toy boats by Toy Makers of Pasco County. The gallery is at 6206 Jefferson St., New Port Richey.

Pasco Arts Council will open its museum and gift shop from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, with work by local artists and art-related gift items. It's at 5744 Moog Road, Holiday (2.5 miles east of U.S. 19 behind Centennial Library).

Pasco-Hernando Community College Art Gallery will be open from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday with photographs by the Chasco Camera Club. The gallery is in the Alric Pottberg Library on the West Campus, 10230 Ridge Road, New Port Richey. The exhibit continues through Feb. 17.

Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, with a special exhibit of 850 paintings, scrimshaw, fired porcelain and sculpture by the Miniature Art Society of Florida. $5 adults, $4 seniors, free to children, students with ID and museum members. The museum is at 600 E Klosterman Road, Tarpon Springs (1 mile west of U.S. 19; entrance off Belcher Road).

Pioneer Florida Museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, with a museum, restored homes, a church, one-room school and the Trilby depot on 16 acres. Admission is $6 adults, $2 ages 6 through 18, free ages 5 and younger. The museum is at 13205 U.S. 301, Dade City (off U.S. 301 north of downtown).

If You Go

Suncoast Arts Fest

Where: The Shops at Wiregrass, 28211 Paseo Drive, Wesley Chapel (north side of State Road 56, about 2.5 miles east of Interstate 75) and other locations

When: At Wiregrass, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday; varies elsewhere

Tickets: Free

Saturday's entertainers

10 a.m.-noon: Veronika Jackson; the Women's Blues Revue

Noon-2 p.m.: Lala Land featuring Joe Lala

2-4 p.m.: The Semis punk, pop, classic rock band

4-6 p.m.: Ray Olan and His Latin Band

6-7 p.m.: Bluesman Sarasota Slim

Sunday's entertainers

11 a.m.-2 p.m.: Contempo Dance Group; East of Elsewhere metal, alternative; bluegrass/country AmeriKinfolk

Noon-2 p.m.: Cloggin Connection; Mitchell High School Jazz Band

2-4 p.m.: Alex Meixner

In addition, WMNF disc jockeys will spin a variety of music between the live entertainers' numbers. Proceeds from the show will go to Art for Kids in Pasco County, said Marj Golub, co-chair of the festival.

Suncoast Arts Fest returns to Shops at Wiregrass 01/21/10 [Last modified: Thursday, January 21, 2010 3:52pm]

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