BROOKSVILLE — The revival of a once-popular event will find the Brooksville City Hall Art Gallery celebrating two things that never fail to attract an audience: art and food.
After several successful years, the gallery's "Taste of the Arts" spring art reception had to be abandoned last year due to building renovations. But thanks to several downtown restaurants, the event — free and open to the public — will be back in full swing starting at 5 p.m. Thursday, said gallery coordinator Rachel Fogarty-Oleson.
"It's a wonderful community celebration that a lot of people are looking forward to attending again," Fogarty-Oleson said. "I hope we'll be able to do more of these types of things as we move forward with our future plans."
The spring exhibit, which opened three weeks ago, features more than 110 pieces created by art students from Faith Academy of the Arts, located at Faith Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Brooksville. The artists, ranging in age from elementary school students to retired adults, are taught by Robyn Gray, who has been an instructor at the academy since 2009.
Fogarty-Oleson said the works at the gallery represent a variety of mediums and will remain on display until Aug. 3.
For the culinary portion of the event, visitors will be able to sample tastes from several local restaurants, including Mallie Kyla's Cafe, Coney Island Drive Inn, Florida Cracker Kitchen, Southern Ladies and a Gent, Rising Sun Cafe, Luigi's Pizza, plus fresh vegetables from Auro Community Garden. Publix of Brooksville will provide beverages.
In addition to the artists' works, the exhibit features ship models by Suncoast Ship Model Society, photographs by the Spring Hill Camera Club, handmade quilts by the Hernando Quilters Guild, plus a new collection of poetry by members of Just Poets.
Fogarty-Oleson, who came on board as gallery director in February, said that she is working on several projects that she hopes will enhance the city's art-friendly reputation, including a public sculpture walk in the downtown area.
"My belief is that the more the public is exposed to art, the more they tend to appreciate it," she said. "That's what I would like to see happen in Brooksville."
Logan Neill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 848-1435.