Sixteen-year-old violinist Natasha Snyder delights the
audience at CrossPointe Fellowship Sunday with a
virtuoso performance in the season opener for the Anna
Maria Island Concert Chorus and Orchestra. Snyder,
of Sarasota, won AMICCO’s youth competition this year.
RICK PICKWICK | SUBMITTED
The arts on the Island were the stars of the weekend as hundreds of people turned out for Cultural Connections’ annual artsHOP event in Anna Maria and Holmes Beach.
Visitors enjoyed a wide variety of art exhibits, demonstrations and music, as well as a play, a concert and a drum circle.
During Friday’s Gallery Walk in Anna Maria, people wandered up and down Gulf Drive from Three Island Monkeys and Ginny and Jane E’s to shops and art studios along Pine Avenue.
“We were really pleased with the number of visitors,” said Maureen McCormick, president of the AMI Historical Society, which featured artist Patricia Curtis and musician Big Jim Allen at the museum complex. “It was a lovely night, and we got great comments on our renovations to the museum gift shop.”
At The Studio at Gulf and Pine, visitors enjoyed the toe tapping, bluegrass music of State Road 64, while purchasing tickets for the artsHOP raffle basket and perusing art.
Artspace’s opening for its Black and White show attracted 65 entries and a huge crowd of about 400 people to view the small art works. Owner Deborah Webster said, “I think everybody really enjoyed it.”
They also voted on a People’s Choice award, which was a tie between Chas McMullan, of Anna Maria, for “Cork Fish” and Lisa Reagan Karbowski, of New York, for “Ominous Fog” and purchased raffle tickets for a finger painting by Cheeta, which was won by Lori Waggoner, of Holmes Beach.
At the Island Players, President Dolores Harrell said they sold out and added some seats for Friday’s performance of “The Mousetrap,” and also sold out Saturday’s performance.
Holmes Beach Gallery Walk
At the Anna Maria Island Art League, Dr. Carol Roberts, of Sarasota, posed for her instructor, Tampa sculptor Rolando Rodriguez.
Under a nearby tree, artist Deeana Atkinson painted a sea turtle on the seat of a chair. She displayed three chairs in varying stages of completion to demonstrate the process of transforming an old piece of furniture into a work of art.
A block away, Margie Krogel, of Bradenton, experimented with chalk drawing at the Artists’ Guild Gallery. Later Bil Bowdish and Judy Lynn, of Gulf Drive, got people up and dancing with their oldies from the 50s and 60s and top tunes from the 70s and 80s.
Across Gulf Drive at Island Gallery West (IGW), Nancy Faris, of Sarasota, demonstrated pin weaving, using colorful strings of feathers and cotton batik fabric rolled and sewn into tubes, then woven into squares which she turns into purses, pillows and other items.
Following the demonstration, about 300 guests enjoyed watching six IGW artists take turns painting six canvases, which were sold to the highest bidder.
“Our featured artist Joe Fletcher kept the wine flowing, and musician Chip Ragsdale had guests dancing in the street,” said Marlane Wurzbach, of IGW. “The weather and the sales were brisk
“A lot of people were very happy even though the crowds were not as big as in past years,” said Gallery Walk Chair Joan Voyles.
Saturday and Sunday
Visitors flocked to a mini art fair at Relish on Pine Avenue in Anna Maria and an arts and crafts fair to benefit the butterfly garden in Holmes Beach. In addition 13 local authors discussed and autographed copies of their works at the library (see related story on Page 11).
The day concluded with the auction of 42 painted chairs at The Studio at Gulf and Pine in Anna Maria. Chairs ranged from nautical, with fishnet draped over the back, to whimsical, with a plant growing out of the seat.
Chair chairman Marsha Bard thanked the Studio at Gulf and Pine for hosting the event.
“Our local artists are quite amazing and creative and have been so generous in offering their talents in support of our Island’s art and culture,” Bard said. “artsHOP is a once a year event. Unlike many other events, the purpose is not to raise money, but to raise the awareness of our Island arts and our pubic art projects tend to do this.
“We’ve had chairs on the porches along Pine Avenue and at the galleries in Holmes Beach. Tonight they’ve gathered together to find new homes amid the festivities, trays of food donated by volunteers and local businesses and a wonderful Island community that supports our efforts to shine a light on our arts and culture.”
The weekend rounded out with a concert by AMI Concert Chorus and Orchestra (AMICCO) at CrossPointe fellowship and a drum circle at Manatee Public Beach.
Jeanie Pickwick, of AMICCO, said the concert was well attended and the music well received.
“It all came together so beautifully,” Pickwick said. “Our young solo artist winner got a standing ovation. There were many compliments about the choice of music. It got everybody started into the season.”
Several who attended the concert said it was the best they’d ever experienced.
Dorothy Blum, of the Manatee County Cultural Alliance/Arts Council, thanked the AMI Beach Café for hosting the drum circle Sunday evening and said, “It was fabulous! It was a great way to bring the community together and celebrate the end of artsHOP weekend. We went out with a bang!”