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A group of artists and floral designers will give the phrase "life imitates art" a new twist at the annual Largo Festival of Arts this weekend. ¶ Along with the usual paintings and floral arrangements, there will be a third category called PIFD.

"It is unusual. It means Painting Inspired Floral Design," said Warren Ankerberg, the community center's director. "One month before the festival, interested floral designers are randomly assigned a painting from the Largo Art Association display. They take a photo of the painting and then they create a floral design to complement it."

Judges will observe the floral arrangement and painting together to determine winners. Both the winning designer and the artist will receive a cash reward.

"We've done this in the past and it has become popular," Ankerberg said. "We have more entries this year than we expected."

The festival, held Friday and Saturday, will feature an art gallery displaying about 60 paintings using a variety of media. There will also be about 25 floral arrangements representing both classic and Ikebana (Japanese) designs.

The PIFD group is expected to add 15 more displays.

Speakers, demonstrations, art-related vendors and food concessions are also planned for the two-day event.

A local celebrity artist, Patrick Gaughan, will demonstrate different painting techniques at 1 p.m. both days, Ankerberg said. Gaughan does palette painting, sand painting and pour painting.

Gaughan's most famous painting, The Leopard, is owned by a private collector, but it will be on display at the festival.

Gaughan, a Seminole resident, has also donated six of his paintings for a silent auction. Ankerberg said the paintings are valued at $300 each and the proceeds will be used to support programs at the community center.

The event is free and open to the public.

"We have talent here you would not believe, and too often it is not recognized," Ankerberg said. "We created this show to give back to the creative people in our community."

If you go

The 3rd annual Largo Festival of Arts

Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Largo Community Center, 65 4th St.

Admission: Free