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Vero Beach painter takes best in show at Mainsail Arts Festival

Richard Currier’s abstract seascape won Best in Show.

Mainsail Art Festival

Richard Currier’s abstract seascape won Best in Show.

ST. PETERSBURG — More than 50 artists exhibiting at the Mainsail Art Festival won prizes totaling $50,000 at the preshow breakfast Sunday, but the big one went to painter Richard Currier from Micco, near Vero Beach.

The 52-year-old artist was awarded Best of Show and $10,000 by the judge, Dean A. Porter, director emeritus of the University of Notre Dame Snite Museum of Art and himself a painter.

"This my third time jurying the show," Porter said. "I spent about five hours reviewing the artists on the Mainsail website before I came and started a quality rating from 1 to 10. Very few were below 7. I visited Richard's booth twice and there was such a high quality to every painting. But it's his paintings of mangos that I'll never forget. And I don't think I have ever eaten a mango."

Currier, who paints with luminous oils, works in many genres, he said, but he brought to Mainsail a collection of almost abstract seascapes and a group of large-sized still lifes of the tropical fruit.

"Mangos have such a luscious, full palette of colors," he said.

Over the 20 years he has been exhibiting at arts festivals, he has won many awards, including some at Mainsail, but this is his first Best of Show at the St. Petersburg event.

Now in its 38th year, the festival in Vinoy Park on the downtown waterfront has sometimes had to contend with stormy weather. Showers were predicted on Saturday but the park remained dry and Mainsail organizers, a volunteer committee, said crowds seemed better than usual, though attendance isn't recorded. By 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, the sun had emerged.

Lennie Bennett can be reached at lbennett@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8293.

>>Fast facts

Mainsail winners

Best of Show, $10,000: Richard Currier, oil/acrylic.

Award of Excellence, $1,500: Scott Coulter, oil/acrylic; Scott Hartley, watercolors; Jeff Eckert, graphics; Candiss Cole-Footitt and Roger Footitt, fibers; William Kwamena-Poh, watercolors; David Erdman, sculpture; Jan Wang, oil/acrylic; Dawn Adams, oil/acrylic; Duncan McClellan, glass; and Jon Smith, oil/acrylic.

Award of Distinction, $1,000: Ummarid (Tony) Eitharong, mixed media; Billie Barthelemy, fibers; Leslie Bevis, oil/acrylic; Rocky Bridges, mixed media; Dale Lewis, wood; Richard J. Auger, photography; Ana Aguerrevere, oil/acrylic; Emily Barnes, oil/acrylic; Marc and Sara Aun, jewelry; John Mascoll, wood; David Gordon, oil/acrylic; Robert S. Wilson, oil/acrylic; Paul Jeselskis, ceramics; Katherine Mathisen, ceramics; and Gail Markiewicz, ceramics.

Award of Merit, $500: Sue Archer, watercolors; Randall Smith, mixed media; Sandra Matasick, jewelry; Ellie Diez-Massaro, mixed media; Pam Fox, jewelry; Mel Fleck, graphics; Chas Rowe, oil/acrylic; Maija Baynes, oil/acrylic; Lawrence Packard, graphics; John Bayalis, watercolors; Andy Handwork, graphics; Lilian Delgado, oil/acrylic; Dave Bruner, graphics; Richard Miranda, jewelry; Linda McAdams, mixed media; Erica Hall, Graphics; Charles Parkhill, sculpture; Michael Weber, watercolors; Russell Yerkes, watercolors; and Susan Gott, glass.

Purchase Awards, $200 (These are not part of the juried awards but are funded by patrons): Cheryl Mackey Smith, ceramics, by ARTicles Gallery and Leslie Curran; Marc and Sara Aune, jewelry, by Douglas C. Buchan & Associates; Marvin Bower, fibers, by Anthony J. LaSpada P.A.; Patricia Karnes, jewelry, by Lazzara Family Partnership; Patricia Karnes, jewelry, by Lazzara Oil Co.; Gail Markiewicz, ceramics, by Fred and Monika MacFawn; Dustin Cole, sculpture by the Mahaffey Co.; William Kidd, ceramics, by Shapiro's Gallery; Jon Smith, oil/acrylic, by Wells, Houser &Schatzel P.A.; and Lilian Delgado, oil/acrylic, by West Coast Florida Cadillac Dealers.

Vero Beach painter takes best in show at Mainsail Arts Festival 04/21/13 [Last modified: Sunday, April 21, 2013 10:33pm]
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