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More than 200 compete at weekend Tarpon Springs art festival

Local artist Larry Hasiak “turns” a vessel on his lathe using a piece of recycled palm. He will be in this weekend’s Tarpon Springs Fine Arts Festival.


Local artist Larry Hasiak “turns” a vessel on his lathe using a piece of recycled palm. He will be in this weekend’s Tarpon Springs Fine Arts Festival.


One day a tree trimmer comes and cuts down a palm in your yard.

Think you've seen the last of it?

Think again.

It may reappear as someone's cremation urn, perhaps your own.

Tarpon Springs artist Larry Hasiak trolls recycling centers for pieces of domestic trees such as palms and Norfolk island pines that he can turn on a lathe and shape into hollow containers, large bowls and yes, urns to hold ashes.

This weekend, he'll be one of more than 200 artists vying for more than $16,000 in prize money at the 36th annual Tarpon Springs Fine Arts Festival, presented by the Tarpon Springs Chamber of Commerce.

The juried art show, which draws artists from all over the nation, runs from 9 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday on picturesque Spring Bayou, at the west end of Tarpon Avenue in Tarpon Springs.

The process of wood-turning can be amazing, says Hasiak, a former IBM systems programmer.

"You never know what you're going to find inside an old log. It's very satisfying to see how things turn out."

Recently the 69-year-old won an award for a section of a palm tree he crafted into a decorative vessel at the prestigious Coconut Grove Arts Festival.

Besides wood, other art categories include acrylics, watercolors and oils, ceramics, fiber art, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, photography and sculpture.

Musical entertainment includes organic, soul, blues, alternative, ska, reggae, contemporary, folk and bluegrass.

Sue Thomas, chamber president, said she has put in a request for ideal weather conditions.

"Our manatees and dolphins are in the bayou and people should have a great time wandering around in the nice, warm weather," she said.

fast facts

If you go

When: 9 a.m to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Where: Spring Bayou, located at the west end of Tarpon Avenue

Admission: $2, under 12 free. No pets or coolers.

Info: Call (727) 937-6109 or visit

More than 200 compete at weekend Tarpon Springs art festival 03/25/10 [Last modified: Thursday, March 25, 2010 5:38pm]
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