BROOKSVILLE — The focus is women. Historic women of power and strength. Artistic women. Athletic women.
When the late Dorothy "Dotte" Mason was named this year's Great Brooksvillian, organizers of the city's annual Founders Week celebration decided to make its theme all about women, and include a women's art exhibit, women entertainers and a program about local historical women.
Mason, who died July 19 at the age of 100, was a founder of the Junior Service League of Brooksville, sister of longtime civic leader Alfred Mc- Kethan and was involved in numerous civic activities.
"The whole idea of celebrating women is based around Dotte," said Founders Week organizer Lindsay Morgan, with the city of Brooksville.
Founders Week kicked off earlier this week and culminates with a daylong festival on Saturday throughout downtown. Keeping with the theme, Saturday's activities will be about women, including women artists, a presentation by the Brooksville Woman's Club, "Telling Life as it Really Was," and all-female entertainment on the Get Healthy Stage outside City Hall, including Jayne's Dance Studio, Jaynellen's Nature Coast Tribal and a women's step group.
"It just ties all together," Morgan said. "We're really excited."
The event also features the Art N' Market Walk, an indoor and outdoor event at City Hall that feature numerous artists and art organizations, such as the Spring Hill Art League and Hernando County Fine Arts Council.
The walk — which is held twice a year, in October and April — is the brainchild of Morgan and local artist Rhonda Hancock, who was formerly the coordinator of the City Hall Art Gallery.
"Lindsay and I were in the gallery thinking it would be nice to somehow include art with the Market on Main Street," Hancock recalls. "We wanted to include the gallery and have it open as well. It just built on that."
Hancock, who left her position at the gallery in April to focus on her art, is among the artists whose works are featured in the Women's Caucus for Art Florida exhibit at the art gallery, which will be open Saturday.
The exhibit, which runs through Nov. 4, features more than 130 pieces. It also includes works by: Maria Helena Adams, Rosa Lea Addington, Dore' Anderson, Bonnie Dubbin Askowitz, Betty Bay, Maureen Bethke, Marie Brandes, Mary J. Brown, Diane Charles, Joette G. Felice, Evie Harper, Karen Heidler, Kathy Ivers Napua, Judy Kaplan, Julie Komenda, Rosalie LoCurcio, Fran McLean, Mary Ellen O'Brien, Susan Pelteson, Judith Segall, Lynn Simone, Bonnie Sprung and Chris Coad Taylor.
Hancock, whose works are abstract realism, using experimental watercolor techniques to create nature- themed landscapes, will participate in the Art N' Market Walk, painting en plein air (outdoor painting), along with several other artists. Visitors will have a chance to watch the artists at work, in what is expected to be cool and sunny weather.
"We are pooling our efforts into making a fantastic day," Hancock said. "And we expect great weather."