Art around the Island

What’s new for artists

The Artists’ Guild of Anna Maria Island presents a talk by art supply sales representative Mike Grecian on Monday, Feb. 5, at the Episcopal Church of the Annunciation, 4408 Gulf Drive in Holmes Beach. Social hour begins at 6:30 p.m. and the program starts at 7 p.m. Grecian will demonstrate new products from the many well-known manufacturers he represents. This program is free and open to the public.

Outdoors art exhibit

The Studio at Gulf and Pine, 10101 Gulf Drive in Anna Maria, is seeking artwork for “A Plein Air Affair,” a juried exhibit opening on Wednesday, Feb. 7. There will be a reception Monday, Feb. 5, from 1-4 p.m.

Cathleen Larson
Cathleen Larson

All artwork must have been created outdoors on location in Florida during the past three years in watercolor, oil, acrylic or pastel mediums. Island resident and award-winning plein air artist Cory Wright will judge the show, which will award more than $500 in prizes to selected winners. An artists’ reception will be held on Thursday, Feb. 15, from 6-8 p.m.

“En plein air” is French for “in the open air.”  Plein air began in the late 1800s when the Impressionists ventured from their studios into nature to capture the effects of sunlight and different times of day on a subject. Plein paintings require the artist to be skilled at rapid composition and brushwork in order to capture the light before it changes.

Art demos and sale

The Artists’ Guild of Anna Maria Island in collaboration with Keeton’s Office and Art Supply, will host the yearly Demo-Sale-A-Bration on Wednesday, Feb. 7, at Crosspointe Fellowship, 8605 Gulf Drive in Holmes Beach from 1-4 p.m. Keeton’s will have new or favorite product lines on hand while Guild artists demonstrate art techniques. Tables with supplies will be set up for people to try their skills. Admission is free and open to the public.

Featured artist

Local mixed-media artist Wendell Graham is the featured artist for the month of February at the Artists’ Guild of Anna Maria Island, 5414 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach.  A reception in her honor will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 9, as part of the Holmes Beach Art District ArtWalk at the Guild Gallery.  It is free and open to the public.

Wendell Graham

As a mixed-media artist, Graham says she loves to weave natural materials with different mediums, so her art tells a story, inspires imagination and brings texture, color, fun and a hint of mystery to an original.

“I believe strongly in helping others through volunteer work and painting, passing it forward and carry this passion over into my artwork by donating my time, art and money to various charities. It only takes one to make a difference; I am proud to be one,” she said.

An avid supporter and promoter of the arts, she is represented by the Artists’ Guild of Anna Maria Island Gallery and the Art & More Gallery in Holmes Beach.

A call to artists

The Anna Maria Island Art League is currently accepting submissions for its 24th Annual James Pay Exhibit, in honor of an Art League founder, entitled “Appreciation and Celebration of the Human Form.”

Its first exhibit of nude works of art, this public show will be juried and will feature a special exhibit by Richard Thomas in the Art League’s foyer.

The opening reception is on Friday, Feb. 9 , from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The art work will be shown through March 2.

Artists are asked to bring submissions to the Anna Maria Island Art League, 5312 Holmes Blvd., Holmes Beach, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays no later than Friday, Feb  2. The entry fee is $20 per piece for Art League members and $30 for non-members, with a limit of three entries per artist. For questions regarding submissions, contact Fran Sansbury, 941-778-2099.

Seahorse art show

The Bridge Street Merchants/artsHOP Seahorse Public Art Project and walkable art show will be on display at participating Bridge Street businesses through Sunday, Feb. 25.

Created by professional and amateur artists of all ages and skill levels, the seahorses will be on display at the Bridge Street Bistro, BridgeWalk Resort, Cove, Back Alley, Uptown Lot, Sea-renity, Mermaid Haven/Bridge Street Interiors, The Bridge Tender Inn & Dockside Grill, Tide & Moon Jewelry and Anna Maria Oyster Bar on the Pier. Maps containing information on specific seahorse locations will be made available at participating businesses beginning Friday.

All the seahorses on display will be auctioned for sale online. Bidding on all pieces will start at $30, and there will be a buy-it-now option. Photos of each entry will be posted at the website.

Participating artists will receive half of the selling price. After credit card processing fees and other costs are subtracted, the remaining 40 percent of the proceeds will assist the Bridge Street Merchants in hosting Christmas on Bridge Street and other public events that benefit local charities.

Elaine Stroili seahorse
Seahorse by Elaine Stroili

An estimated 100 seahorses were created using plywood templates cut by Dan Ryan and Dan Cleary, using wood donated by Island Lumber in Holmes Beach. Sixty works of seahorse art were then donated back to the Bridge Street Merchants for inclusion in the month-long walkable art show.

“This is our third year hosting the Public Art Project and I’m thrilled to have more artist participation than ever, including some Ringling alumni. We’ve also added a new fundraising opportunity for our neighbor Mote Marine that will allow everyone to get involved in the art show, even if they aren’t going to bid on an art piece,” volunteer Public Art Coordinator Amanda Escobio said.

The new Vote for Mote element allows folks to vote for their favorite seahorse or seahorses for $5 per vote. The vote proceeds will be donated to Mote Marine’s Adopt-a-Seahorse Program.

“Some people may not realize that we have an internationally-recognized seahorse conservation program right in our own backyard,” said Cove owner Kelly Headley.

For more details on the Seahorse Public Art Project, contact Escobio at 941-896-2222.

– Joe Hendricks contributed to this report