Featuring the art of England, Ireland, Scotland & Wales with events celebrating the Victorian Era
CALL TO ARTISTS: We need artists to participate in the Fine Arts Festival! There is no fee to enter this fun exhibition. Download the call to artists and Artist's Agreement HERE.
October 20: Fine Arts Festival kick-off during Gallery Walk in front of Sea Grape Gallery
October 31, 12pm: Unveiling of large mural, ribbon cutting, libations and preview of artwork in Rebecca Hall. Treat yourself to lunch at the Ravenous Rhino food truck in the VAC parking lot.
November 1, 10am - 2pm: Victorian jewelry making led by Belinda Duclos. Create a Victorian bracelet and earring set in copper, included in price. For silver, add $10. Bring a brown bag lunch, cold beverages provided. No prior experience necessary. $60 members/$70 non-members
November 2, 11:30am - 2pm: Victorian luncheon and one-woman show, “Muses to the Masters: A Pre-Raphaelite Tea Party” presented by Seva Anthony. Luncheon catered by Trabue. $40 members/$50 non-members. Reservations for tables of 10 available.
November 3, 9am - 12pm: Victorian Hat Making Workshop lwith Patt Bacon. Bring a plain hat and end up with a highly decorated Victorian chapeau. No experience necessary. $25 members/$35 non-members
November 3, 6 - 7pm: Book discussion at Copperfish books. Diane Madsen presents,” Cracking the Code of the Canon: How Sherlock Holmes Made his Decisions” located at 103 W Marion Ave.
November 7, 10am - 2pm: Monotype printing workshop with Barbara Albin. Create a Victorian print ready for framing. All materials provided. Bring a brown bag lunch, cold beverages provided. No prior experience necessary. $50 members/$65 non-members.
November 8, 1 - 3pm: Movie viewing and discussion of “Effie Gray” at FGCU located at 117 Herald Ct, Suite 211.
November 11, 4:00pm - 9:00pm: “An Evening at Ascot” horse race, followed by after-race festivities including appetizers catered by Trabue, cash bar, Irish music by Trinity and Irish dancing by Gillian McCormack of Fiddle N’Feet. $50 VIP ticket with terrace viewing and libations/$35 Guest ticket with grandstand viewing.
The Fine Arts Festival (FAF) began in the fall of 2003 as a themed formal fundraiser party. That year, the organizers thought it would be fun to have an artist as the theme and decorate with large 5x7 foot reproductions painted by Visual Arts Center artists as part of the decoration. Van Gogh was chosen by the organizers. A super-sized painting of one of his Paris night scenes served as the "doorway" outside the building for guests to walk through. A few of us were hanging out in the Visual Art Center office one day and said, "It's a shame this art won't be seen by more than the attendees at the party. We should have a Festival that goes on for a month.” and thus the Annual Fine Arts Festival was born - a month long celebration of an artist or period and the art reproductions."
For years, the month of the Festival was the theme of the downtown Gallery Walk with many of the reproductions displayed around town for that night with the artists. Artists and themes which have been celebrated over the years include: Dali, Gauguin, Degas, O'Keeffe, DaVinci/Michaelangelo, Lautrec, Spirit of the American Frontier, Monet, Sargent, and in 2014 we celebtated Art Nouveau/Art Deco.
Artists begin their creations after the chosen artist/theme is announced every spring. For many years some would paint their pieces in the Visual Art Center in Rebecca Hall in the summer, providing entertainment and education to the public and to the summer camp kids. Artists loved to replicate the techniques of these masters, learning about color mixing (using donated house paint in primary colors and black and white). At the same time the planning committee would brainstorm possible activities and events for the festival month that would complement the chosen subject. Movies and documentaries, impersonators, original plays written and acted by local talent, musical events, lectures, workshops, collaborations with local arts groups: dance, theatre, garden clubs and bus trips.
The Fine Arts Festival achieves Visual Arts Center goals in so many ways. It involves over 100 artists who paint reproductions and original interpretations. It educates the public. It offers opportunities for new viewers to visit the Visual Art Center, buy art or items in the gift shop or join as members. It provides opportunities for volunteers to give of their talents. But most importantly---It’s FUN for EVERYONE!
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