Wednesday, February 21, 2018
News Roundup

Botanical Gardens festival combines natural beauty and local art museums

LARGO — The Florida Botanical Gardens is known for its beauty. But Sunday, visitors to the gardens will find beauty times two, as art becomes the focus of a day-long festival.

The free Diggin' the Arts festival is a collaboration between the Botanical Gardens and Tampa Bay area art museums. The museums will have booths at the festival and present art demonstrations and hands-on activities.

For example, visitors to the booth sponsored by the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg will be able to work on a color reproduction of Georgia O'Keeffe's Poppy.

They can make botanical suncatchers at the Morean Arts Center booth while learning about the museum's Chihuly glass collection. They can watch potters and watercolorists demonstrate their skills at the Dunedin Fine Arts Center booth.

Festivalgoers will get an opportunity to watch contestants in a plein air, or open air, painting competition. Artists who want to compete may register at 10 a.m. Judging will be at 3:30 p.m. First prize is $150, second is $100 and third is $75.

Rain barrels beautifully decorated by each of the participating art museums will be raffled during the day; tickets are $1 each.

Additional activities will be going on throughout the gardens, including demonstrations of bonsai, orchid cultivation, Sumi-e painting and Asian ink painting. Guided tours of the gardens will be conducted hourly. Musical groups Evergreen and the La Lucha Trio will provide entertainment.

Other museums and galleries collaborating with the gardens for the festival are the Florida Craftsmen Gallery; the Leepa-Rattner Museum at St. Petersburg College's Tarpon Springs campus and the Dunedin Fine Art Center.

For those who want a memento, the Botanical Bounty gift shop will be open.

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