Monday, January 22, 2018
Arts

Arts galore coming to Suncoast Arts Festival

WESLEY CHAPEL

The Suncoast Arts Festival takes place Saturday and Sunday, rolling out the works of about 130 artists from throughout the country, an eclectic lineup of entertainment and the opportunity for festivalgoers to try a hand at some artistic endeavors — all while helping to enhance arts education.

The juried art show, now in its ninth year, was conjured by a handful of founders who had the notion that a local festival could draw impressive talent to Pasco County while promoting the arts in local schools.

Indeed, the fest that started out with about 50 artists in Trinity's Longleaf community and soon outgrew the venue has matured nicely at its present location at the Shops at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel.

"We have some great, high-caliber local artists as well as artists from other parts of the country," said Marj Golub co-chair for the festival along with Pam Marron.

Among the media up for viewing and sale: ceramics, paintings, drawings, graphics, fiber, wood, photography, print making, glass jewelry, metal sculpture and a variety of mixed-media pieces. Prizes will be awarded for overall first-place male and female; and first-place male student and female student.

Add to that an entertainment lineup that includes performances by local blues artists Julie Black and Sarasota Slim, the Tampa Bay Ukulele Society, Richey Suncoast actors, blues and swing dancers and local school children.

The works of emerging high school artists will be on display — as well as some funky offerings such as handcrafted leather cowboy hats that might catch the fancy of more than a few locals, Golub said.

"Are they fine art? Probably not, but they look lovely and they're fun," she said.

There are opportunities to join in a 1K fun run, stroll along the chalk walk or enter a smartphone photo contest.

"Most of us are horrible at taking pictures with our phones," Golub said, "but people will get some hints on how to take better pictures with the smartphone, then they can go out and take some pictures and then submit one of their pictures. We'll post the winning picture on Facebook and Rasmussen College has donated an iPad as the award."

A special Kids Art Garden will be open for those who want to create air-dried clay sculptures, wood sculptures and watercolor paintings under the guidance of festival volunteers.

That's where Stefanie Bracciale, an art teacher at Longleaf Elementary School and founding member of the art fest, will be spending most of her time.

"I love seeing the quality of artwork that comes out of the kids' hands-on area and being around the emerging artists display," she said. "I love listening to the conversations. The kids are just so proud to see that their work is being seen by people out in the community."

Some of those kids might have gotten a boost courtesy of educational grants doled out by "Arts for Kids," a grant fund created by the festival's nonprofit organization, Fine Arts of the Suncoast, Inc. In 2012, $10,813.91 was doled out to supplement arts education in public, private and charter schools in Pasco County.

Some of that money has provided supplies not covered in school budgets — teacher workshops, theater scripts, canvases, music-making software, material for family clay nights and other endeavors, such as paying for bus transportation to Sarasota so high school students looking to further their education could benefit from advice during the Ringling School of Art and Design's portfolio day.

A few years ago, Bracciale herself was the recipient of a teaching grant that she used to purchase an iPad 2 for her classroom.

"You can't believe how much you can teach with technology," she said, adding that this year she will teach students the technique of scratch art on iPads she has procured from school fundraisers and other grants.

"Most students have the basics," Bracciale said. "With these grants, art teachers can take the next step."

Michele Miller can be reached at [email protected],com.

     
Comments
BMX riders to showcase their artful sport on Gasparilla weekend

BMX riders to showcase their artful sport on Gasparilla weekend

TAMPA — There’s more coming to pile on Gasparilla weekend than just the National Hockey League’s All-Star Game. On Sunday, the day after the Gasparilla Parade of Pirates and just as the world’s top hockey players compete at A...
Published: 01/17/18
Updated: 01/19/18
‘Woke’ artists return to Tampa, explore Steven Kenny’s surrealist landscapes

‘Woke’ artists return to Tampa, explore Steven Kenny’s surrealist landscapes

TWO-FER: UTOPIAS AND UNFILTEREDMark Thomas Gibson and William Villalongo are New York-based artists whose individual work explores the black experience in America, in both historical and personal contexts. Their work was showcased in the powerful but...
Published: 01/17/18
The Ringling’s ‘Aftermath’ photography exhibit shows horrors after war

The Ringling’s ‘Aftermath’ photography exhibit shows horrors after war

SARASOTAThere’s no question that war is hell, but as a civilian living in a country that hasn’t had a war on its soil in many, many years, images of the horrors of war can easily be avoided.Not only the act of war itself, but the consequences of it, ...
Published: 01/10/18
Cuba/US relations are explored at CAM and Cass gets Naughty by Nature at the Epicurean

Cuba/US relations are explored at CAM and Cass gets Naughty by Nature at the Epicurean

Societal Shifts: Climate ChangeThe new exhibition opening Friday at USF’s Contemporary Art Museum is not concerned with the hot button issue you’re thinking of. Instead, in "Climate Change: Cuba/USA," Cuban and Cuban-American artists explore the rece...
Published: 01/05/18
Updated: 01/10/18
Best of 2017: 10 phenomenal art exhibits from this year

Best of 2017: 10 phenomenal art exhibits from this year

At the close of a year that many are referring to as a dumpster fire, it’s actually refreshing to look back at the great visual art exhibitions shown in Tampa Bay in 2017. While a few were political in nature or included pieces that were, the e...
Updated one month ago
Find your favorite author’s portrait at the library, and donate your art to make room for new ones in Downtown Dunedin

Find your favorite author’s portrait at the library, and donate your art to make room for new ones in Downtown Dunedin

WELL READ: LITERARY HEROESEvery artists needs a muse, and Sarasota artist Mike Hanlon’s are the world’s great authors. So it’s fitting that Hanlon’s exhibition of large-scale portraits, "Literary Heroes,e_SDRq is on display in Kotler Art Gallery at t...
Updated one month ago
Six local art exhibits you were too busy to see during the holidays

Six local art exhibits you were too busy to see during the holidays

The threshold of a new year is a good time to catch the art exhibitions you may have been too busy to check out. Here are few suggestions. TAMPA MUSEUM OF ART 120 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa; (813)421-8380; tampamuseum.org. TMA has several exhibits ...
Updated one month ago
New Port Richey gallery exhibit features local photography

New Port Richey gallery exhibit features local photography

NEW PORT RICHEY — The Gateway Gallery and Emporium on Grand Boulevard starts off the new year with a new exhibit featuring the digital photography of David J. Wright. An opening reception will be held Jan. 5 at the studio. The varied works of 24 gal...
Updated one month ago