Friday, June 22, 2018
Events

Spring Hill Art League joins with county in attempt to revive annual festival

SPRING HILL — The Fall Harvest of Art had been the Spring Hill Art League's signature event for more than 40 years. But in recent years, the show had petered out.

"The past two years, it was a much smaller, internal event," said Spring Hill Art League president Marilyn Schaeffer.

When the festival returns this weekend, it will do so under a new name, with a new partnership and with a promise of being bigger and better.

The art league will team up with the Hernando County Parks and Recreation Department to present Art by the Lake on Saturday and Sunday on the Lake House grounds.

The free event will include a juried and judged competition featuring about 60 fine artisans and crafters. There will be $2,700 in cash awards, with $1,000 awarded for Best in Show.

There also will be food trucks, continuous entertainment both days and a tent of art featuring works by students from local high schools and Pasco-Hernando State College.

"We will also have a hands-on activity tent where you can create artwork and bring it home," Schaeffer said. "What's exciting is that it isn't just for children. Adults can do it, too."

When the fine arts and craft booths close at 5 p.m. Saturday, a concert will follow until 9 p.m. The headline band will be Mad Dogs, a Joe Cocker tribute band. Also performing will be the Black Swans as well as RJ Howson and Friends.

The evening will include games and food; beer and wine also will be available.

"Bring lawn chairs and blankets and enjoy the show," said Christie Williams, Hernando County Parks and Recreation special events coordinator.

Williams said this year's event will be a bit of a "trial to see how it flows."

"With large regional events … we just want to see where we can fit in," she said.

Schaeffer said a $5,000 grant from the Hernando County Commission enabled the event to achieve a higher level of advertising and a bigger call for artists.

"The best thing that has happened is our partnership with Parks and Recreation," Schaeffer said. "This is a joint venture that is just wonderful."

Williams added, "The goal is to have two times the budget next year."

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