The Boca Grande Resort was swathed in soft colors, folk music, and svelte wines over the March 23-25 weekend at the fifth annual Boca Grande Masters Art Festival.
Organizer Richard Sullivan said his event is settling into its stride after struggling to find a niche on the island in its earlier versions. Sullivan and his band of artists have raised $20,000 for the Harry Chapin Food Bank over the years while becoming established as a major exhibit, he said.
"We're beginning to be cherished as an island event," he said.
Landscape artist Mary Taglieri of Rotonda West specializes in landscapes.
The crowds under sunny skies last weekend were not overwhelming although many vehicles made the stop before heading on into the village.
The 42 select U.S. artists on display showed the churn for which Sullivan's shows are famed.
"I tell all my artists they can do the show two years in a row and then they have to take a year off," he said. "It keeps the show fresh."
Who: Featuring select artists
What: 2013 Boca Grande Masters Art Festival
When: 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, March 22; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, March 23; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 24
Where: North Village on Gasparilla Island at 5800 Gasparilla Road.
Contact: Call (239) 293-9448 or visit boulderbrook.net.
Notable artists included jewelry designer Jason Marien of Sarasota, whose Cruisin' Coastlines line of rings and bracelets features the bejeweled topography of Boca Grande, Southwest Florida, the Caribbean, Mexico and other regions of the world.
"I'm new at doing these show," Marien said in his white tent near the wine stand on the steps to the Tiki Hut, which kept patrons fed and "watered."
Marien's pieces come mainly in silver but are available in white gold and a two-tone bronze and silver. His work ranges from $199 and up, he said, including a custom platinum-and-diamond piece he sold for $4,900.
Marien's most popular designs are the coastlines of Boca Grande, Sanibel Island and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
He also takes commissions. One man asked for a ring of Boca Grande Pass, Marien said, because that is where his family scattered his father's ashes.
The festival is held in conjunction with the Boca Grande Resort, the Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce and the Harry Chapin Food Bank.
Mara Balodis, Bokeelia; Pauline Fawcette and Jim Sears, Englewood; Adam Serra and Anisa Stewart, Fort Myers; Tom Krause, Nokomis; Melissa Landon, Port Charlotte; Mindy Lind Terk, Skip Ennis and Joan Michlin, Sarasota; Carol Feroni, De Funiak Springs; Katie Gardenia, St. James City; Jocelyn Hoch, Dunedin; Kathleen Mrachec, Colorado; Mary Taglieri of Rotonda West; and Julie Salvetti and Linda Welch, Venice.
Nicholas Marandon, Los Angeles.
Don McCoy, Salida.
Michelle Herrli, South Bend.
Brittney Love, Hartfield.
Ellen Bianchi, Cape Coral; Jilly Barnes and Phyllis Slater, Muskegon; Kathy and Loren Bell, Hobe Sound; Lee-Margaret Borland, Jacksonville; and Paul Braun, St. Augustine.
Billie Barthelemy, Pinewood; Pat Falk, Owatonna; and Antoni Kozlowski, Shelby Township.
Bob Wilfong, Las Vegas.
David Gordon, Greenfield Center.
Russel Yerks, Tarboro.
Allen Hamwi, Columbus.
Steve Brewster, Poteau.
Andrea and Ralph Ludden, Gatlinburg; and Lee Wilson, Nashville.
Peter Robinson, Burlington.
Jeff Crawford, Fredericktown.