BROOKSVILLE — For nearly 40 years, the Spring Hill Art League has endeavored to promote the county's visual arts community by putting members' works in small exhibits in as many public places as possible.
Until now, however, the organization has never had the opportunity to showcase multiple artists in a single-venue exhibit as large as the one that kicks off Monday at the Brooksville City Hall Art Gallery.
The 13-day special exhibit, which will run through May 10 at the gallery in downtown Brooksville, will feature a collection of 80 pieces by 20 Hernando County artists of note and will feature works from a variety of mediums, including acrylics, oil, pencil, pastel, photography, watercolor and wax batik watercolor, as well as hand-turned wood works.
Art league president Doris Hoffman said the hope is that the special exhibit will draw some added attention to artists in the community who have shown support for next weekend's Florida Blueberry Festival in one fashion or another, and whose works may already be familiar to Brooksville visitors.
"The blueberry festival has always had an art element built into it, so it made sense for us to try and show as many works as we could possibly fit inside the gallery," Hoffman said.
In addition to the gallery exhibit, several of the artists will have individual showings inside several downtown businesses during the festival week.
Prior to last year's inaugural event, blueberry festival organizers called on members of the art league to help with organizational support and to participate in the painting of 24 one-of-a-kind commemorative picnic tables, which were auctioned to raise money to support the nonprofit event.
Said Hoffman: "Our club has been a huge supporter of the festival from the very beginning. We feel that as time goes by, it could become one of the biggest art-related events in the state."
The art league, which will celebrate its 40th anniversary this fall, supports a number of art-related endeavors throughout Hernando County, including paint-alongs and artist workshops. In addition, the club funds an annual scholarship program for high school seniors.
The City Hall exhibit will feature many of Hernando County's award-winning artists, including Jana Withers, Paul Shaskan, Rhonda Hancock, Diane Becker, Grace Ashcraft, Carole Knudson, Laura Diehm, J.S. Galletta and Valdora Ward.
The special exhibit is free and will be open to the public 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays as well as during next weekend's Florida Blueberry Festival.
Logan Neill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 848-1435.