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Ever-lovely Fine Arts Festival arrives in Tarpon Springs


This weekend's Fine Arts Festival on Spring Bayou signals the beginning of spring for art lovers.

Sponsored by the Tarpon Springs Chamber of Commerce, the perennial favorite has attracted 200 artists from all over the country who will set up shop in Craig Park for the 35th year.

They are competing for $16,000 in cash prizes in categories like ceramics, fiber, glass, photography, jewelry, leather, metal, sculpture, watercolor and mixed media.

One of those is this year's featured artist, April Davis, who was chosen for her colorful, Florida-themed acrylic paintings.

Said chamber president Sue Thomas, "We always pick someone whose work is spectacular."

Davis, 52, of Boca Raton painted a composition of Spring Bayou for promotional materials, T-shirts, hats and posters.

"It's a panorama, which I love to do," she said.

Davis has created large-scale vistas, her specialty, for 30 years.

She visited the area, took some pictures and altered the composition a bit "just to accentuate nature's beauty."

For instance, she shifted the placement of a moss-covered tree branch and dock for asymmetrical harmony. A manatee family, which she spotted farther out, warm themselves front and center here.

The hues in this painting and all her tropical works are saturated, vibrant, intense.

"I love color," she said. "I may use a million shades of green in one painting."

When looking for a source of inspiration, Davis says she seeks out beautiful imagery, "something that will take my breath away. It could be one flower or a landscape."

She likes art to do more than decorate.

"I want it to create a space that opens up the room and brings nature inside," she said.

Visitors to the juried art show will be treated to music and a variety of food options.

Thomas, the chamber chief, is hoping for good weather, noting that it "rained everywhere but Tarpon Springs last year."

And she doesn't want the phrase "fine art" to scare people away.

"It's considered fine art," she said, "but much of it is affordable and items that people really want in their home."

if you go

Fine weekend for fine art

The 35th annual Tarpon Springs Fine Arts Festival at Craig Park on Spring Bayou features the work of 200 artists, live entertainment, food and drink.

Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Admission: $2, free for 16 and younger. No coolers or pets.

Parking: Youth groups will have special parking lots near the art show and street parking and city lots are also available.

For information: Call (727) 937-6109.

• • •

Greek parade

On Sunday, the Greek Independence Day Parade begins at 1 p.m. and can be viewed a block from the arts festival. The parade will pass along Pinellas Avenue, beginning at Orange Street and turning left at Dodecanese Boulevard at the Sponge Docks. Visitors are encouraged to park south of Tarpon Avenue that day from noon until about 2 p.m.

Ever-lovely Fine Arts Festival arrives in Tarpon Springs 03/26/09 [Last modified: Thursday, March 26, 2009 4:39pm]
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