Art festival continues Sunday

People attend the 31st Annual Downtown Festival and Art Show Saturday, October 13, 2012.

Doug Finger/Staff Photographer
Published: Saturday, October 13, 2012 at 7:29 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, October 13, 2012 at 7:29 p.m.

The Downtown Festival and Art Show is never lacking for artists who specialize in portraying Florida: Beaches, landscapes, swamps, dolphins, manatees, wading birds and — of course — alligators.


Art show winners

The following is a list of award winners, their medium and their booth numbers from this weekend's 31st Downtown Festival and Art Show:
Best of Show ($2,000): William Kidd, ceramics, Booth 55.
Judges' Choice 2D ($1,000): Garry Seidel, photography, Booth 57.
Judges' Choice 3D ($1,000): Steve Howell, ceramics, Booth 57.
Awards of Excellence ($700): Trent Manning, sculpture, Booth 97; Jon Slade, glass, Booth 96; Rolly Ray Reel, MM3D, Booth 54; Carol Napoli, painting, Booth 7; Nancy Hamlin Vogler, MM2D, Booth 94.
Awards of Distinction ($500): Eddie Myers, MM2D, Booth 35; Marius Moore, photography, Booth 52; Jinsong & Carol Kim, ceramics, Booth 29; Kimberly Willcox, sculpture, Booth 12; Walter Arnold, photography, Booth 195; Susan Gott, glass, Booth 169; Douglas Adams, ceramics, Booth 56; Mel Fleck, graphics/drawing, Booth 187.
Awards of Merit ($250): Cat Telsa, painting, Booth 64; Bernard Blekfeld, photography, Booth 24; John & Maggie Brady, photography, Booth 14; Leslie Peebles, graphics/drawing, Booth 75; Matthew Smith, jewelry, Booth 72; Betty Neubauer, painting, Booth 171; Jeff Ripple, painting, Booth 19; Sandra Matasick, jewelry, Booth 8; Russell Grace, photography, Booth 144; Inna Schoeler, fabric, Booth 160.
Les Senesac Creativity Award ($300): C.M. Djordjievski, sculpture, Booth 186.

And it's for good reason. The artists say most of their customers are Floridians who, even though they may see palms trees when they walk out the door, want to bring it inside as well.

"I think most of my customers are Floridians. We also get a lot of snowbirds, but definitely mostly Floridians," said Robert Johnson of Anna Maria Island, whose brightly colored oils depict beach scenes, old beachside bars and sealife. "I also get some visitors on vacation who want a picture to bring back home with them."

The 31st edition of the show, which continues Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., features about 250 artists working in a palette of media including jewelry, pottery, photography and textiles.

Festival coordinator Linda Piper with the city of Gainesville said about 75 percent of the artists at this weekend's festival are from Florida. Many have shown at the festival before and return because sales are typically good.

"The artists are happy. They love Gainesville," Piper said. "An artist wouldn't reapply to come to this show if their artwork did not sell well here. Scenes of Arizona wouldn't sell well here because our clients appreciate beaches. The people who come to this festival enjoy the Florida scenes."

Showing in Gainesville for the first time was Dennis Shattuck, of Palm Bay, who also specializes in Florida scenes. His are bright acrylics.

Shattuck said he started painting when he was 14, adding he has learned that snowbirds are particularly fond of Florida art.

"They come down January through April and they are all looking for tropical," Shattuck said. "They want something that represents Florida."

Drawn to Shattuck's work was Melissa Yoon, of Daytona Beach. Yoon said her husband has decorated his office in beach scenes while the couple also like it in their home.

"It's very relaxing," Yoon said. "I like the really vibrant colors, and my husband likes them a little more subdued."

Bob Osborne, of Amelia Island, has been in the Downtown Arts Festival before and has sold to some local celebrities; he said University of Florida President Bernie Machen bought one of his pieces a few years ago.

Osborne paints a lot of fish — mahi, sailfish, sea trout. He has also branched out to mangroves and wading birds.

"Most of my customers are people who fish. And of course kids like fish," Osborne said. "The hardest person to sell on fish are the women. They love to fish, but a lot of women don't want fish in the house."

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