Thornebrook art festival features art, crafts and music

Published: Thursday, October 1, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 11:05 a.m.

On Saturday and Sunday, Thornebrook Village shopping center will transform into the 25th Annual Art Festival - with 140 artists setting up their paintings, photography and sculpture pieces in 10-by-10-foot booths and drawing as many as 50,000 people.

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"Golden Impressions," by Gainesville artist Michael Oyenarte, is the poster art for the Art Festival of Thornebrook, which holds its 25th anniversary event this weekend.



The 25th Annual Art Festival at Thornebrook

WHAT: Art festival with 140 arts and crafts booths, live music and other activities
WHEN: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
WHERE: Thornebrook Village, 2400 N.W. 43rd St., Gainesville

Other art mediums that will be exhibited include ceramics, wood, glass, fiber, jewelry and mixed-media.

"Art plays such an important role in our lives and enriches our lives," says Roz Miller, public relations director of the festival. "By having a festival we have lots of artists come in at one time, and that way buyers and collectors don't have to go from gallery to gallery to select their art."

Although the festival's 25th anniversary will not be marked by anything in particular during the weekend, Miller says each year organizers try to make it better by having higher quality artwork exhibited.

All participating artists were juried by former Santa Fe College art instructor Joanna Clark and UF art instructor Michelle Tillander. About 175 artists sent a disc with three of their pieces on it and 140 were selected to participate.

Prominent artists at the festival will include Michael Oyenarte, a Gainesville poster and watercolor artist who has been exhibited in the festival since its beginning and whose work, "Golden Impressions," is the poster art for this year's festival.

Other artists at this year's festival include painters Julie Warmke-Robitaille, Barbara Tench and Eleanor Blair; photographers John Moran and Linda Krause; and graphic artists Jim Harrison and Mike Williams.

Judges Tillander and Clark also will reward artists of their selection with eight cash prizes funded by the entrance fees paid by the 140 exhibitors.

The Art Festival at Thornebrook also has earned a reputation beyond art by featuring such children's activities as face painting and live music from seven bands, including jazz from the Dave Sloane Jazz Project at noon and 2 p.m. Saturday; classic pop from the Amusica ensemble at 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. Saturday; and folksinger Jana Horton also at 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. Saturday.

Performances on Sunday will feature country/Americana folk from Mike Boulware and Ned Stewart at 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. Sunday; classical music from the Alachua Consort at 1 and 3 p.m.; and '20s and '30s jazz from the Long Over Duo at noon, 2 and 4 p.m.

Performing both days will be harpist Rupert Parker and The House of Flying Cards, a magic group.

"It's a wonderful family environment and it's a wonderful way of exposing children to art beyond crayons and paper," Miller said.

The festival is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days and is sponsored by The Gainesville Fine Arts Association and Thornebrook Merchants.

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