TARPON SPRINGS — Melissa Miller Nece says she is flooded by memories of roaring waves and laughing gulls when she draws one of her favorite subjects: beaches.
"I can almost smell the salt air and suntan lotion," said Nece, 58, a Palm Harbor resident considered one of the nation's premier artists working with colored pencils. "I think we all share good memories of the beach and love that feeling of the waves coming at you."
High Spirits, her colored-pencil portrait of three children frolicking in the ocean, captures the joy and exuberance of summer vacations past, regardless of whether they actually existed.
You can view Nece's penciled waves and other works at the Leepa-Rattner Museum's inaugural Artists Market this weekend. Twenty-five other local artists will be a part of the indoor show.
"We thought it would be a good idea to have an art fair inside to avoid the scorching heat and summer rains," said Ann Feldshue, buyer for Isabelle's Museum Store and the show's coordinator.
The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free to the museum and market during the show.
Part of the proceeds from the sale of art will benefit the museum and Isabelle's, the museum store named after the wife of Allen Leepa. The couple donated about $17.5 million in art and property from Abraham Rattner's estate to establish the art museum on the Tarpon Springs campus of St. Petersburg College.
Refreshments, provided by Banquet Masters, will be sold; the museum's education department will host a children's art activity area.
The multimedia show will feature fiber art, jewelry, paintings, turned wood, ceramics, sculpture, assemblages, photography, gourds, prints and drawings.
Nece appreciates this new opportunity to bring art to an indoor market when the mercury rises.
"I've been doing the Cool Art Show at the Coliseum in St. Petersburg for years," she said, "and this will be a good way for people in north Pinellas to enjoy an art fair during the summer months."