ST. PETERSBURG — The eighth annual St. Petersburg Fine Art Festival will be presented Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 27-28, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., in South Straub Park, 198 Bayshore Drive NE, St. Petersburg.
Admission is free. The event is co-sponsored by the city of St. Petersburg and coordinated with Theatre Odyssey.
The festival will showcase original artwork by more than 100 artisans from throughout Florida and across the United States. Together these artisans will create an outdoor gallery of stunning, original and handmade art from works in painting, photography, sculpture, metalwork, digital art, jewelry, glass, ceramics, woodworking, mixed-media, fiber art, metalwork and much more.
Attendees will have an opportunity to meet the artisans that create the work. Participants will share information about how they became artists and how specific pieces were made. Many of these artisans are represented in America’s top museums and art galleries and their works found in the most prestigious private collections in America.
Among the artists taking part in this year’s festival is Terry Andrews of Ocala. Andrews is one of many Florida crafters scheduled to take part in the festival. The award-winning glass sculptor uses copper and fused glass to create his unique and oftentimes whimsical sculptures. His work can be seen in private collections around the world and grace the permanent collections of the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia, as well as the Carrolton Museum of Contemporary Art in Carrolton, Georgia.
Andrews also participates in juried fine art festivals across the country. This Florida native is also an accomplished musician. Originally from the Tampa area, he pursued a career in music until 1994. Always having an interest in glass, Andrews dabbled with the medium, first with blown glass and lamp work, heavy flat and carved glass sculpture.
His work has now evolved to include copper and fused glass sculptures. The fusing work is done in a kiln.
Sandy MacNeill, a mixed media artist scheduled to take part in the festival, owned a custom cabinet design company for 20 years.
“I designed and installed custom cabinetry in high-end custom-built homes in Avila, Cheval, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Venice, Honduras, and Antigua,” she says on her official website. “During that time, I received six First Place Awards from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry and the National Subzero Design Award for Best Kitchen.”
MacNeill has always loved designing. Now retired, she enjoys designing and building wood products and creating abstract acrylic fluid art in her shop.
“Working with mixed media, I create flowing compositions using depth, contrast, and color combinations,” she explains.
MacNeill’s work is displayed at the Florida CraftArt Gallery in St. Petersburg and art festivals throughout the state of Florida.
Barbara Fallenbaum, another Pinellas artist participating in the festival, is fascinated by coastal living: the sounds, the smells, the feelings, the light and its reflections.
“I paint with luminous oils to share glimpses into the lives of coastal dwellers both what humans see and what our feathered friends experience,” Fallenbaum explains on her official website. “The illumination and energy of light along the water is magical. The bright blue sky which is sometimes pink, peach and even lavender, the way the sky reflects off the water, the lush foliage and how it all is reflected in the water … this is what inspires my desire to create.”
Fallenbaum says she is fortunate to live on a barrier island where she is surrounded by “a large expanse of rippling, flowing and transforming water on a daily basis.” She is intrigued by nature and the way we interact with it: how we build communities in natural environments and adapt, blend and change those surroundings. She is amazed by what springs forth from the earth, whether it’s through the water or from the ground.
Fallenbaum is particularly captivated by birds and has spent a lot of time observing them in their environment.
“It is nearly impossible to paint a bird as exquisite as the real one, but my goal is to capture the essence of their spirit and to share their life experiences,” she said. “As an artist I seek inspiration everywhere, in what I see, in how I live and try to share this joy through my art.”
Janine Monroe also will take part in the festival.
Monroe was born in Kingston, Jamaica. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Drawing from Georgia Southern University and then began to capture images of life through oils. She brings unique perspectives to her oil paintings as she explores socio-political and environmental issues.
According to her website, Monroe’s current work features a new and innovative use of recycled wood that is combined with acrylic polymers and pigments to create an added dimension to the work while continuing to explore questions about resources, women and the value of both. Whether two or three-dimensional, each piece explores the power of eyes — the windows to the soul, in combination with the creation of idiosyncratic images influenced by the knots of sycamore trees. Together the medium and subject matter forms and informs a dialogue about the importance of preserving all of our resources.
Event organizers have put in place safety protocols due to the pandemic.
The event layout will be adjusted to allow more spacing between booths. Masks will be required for both artists and festivalgoers during the event. Masks will be provided if attendees do not have on arrival. Artists will have hand sanitizers in their booths and hand sanitizer stations will be spaced throughout the event site.
For festival information, visit www.paragonartevents.com.