This week marks the fourth year that the Friends of the Wekiva River have hosted the “Wekiva Invitational Plein Air Paint Out” alongside the one-day celebration known as Riverfest on Saturday.
More than 30 artists have staked out a place to paint throughout the Wekiva River basin. This area encompasses Wekiwa State Park, Rock Springs Run State Reserve, and the Lower Wekiwa River Reserve State Park. As paintings are completed, they are hung in what’s known as a wet room for display. Momentum builds throughout the week as more work is displayed and artists swap stories about their outdoor painting adventures. All the paintings are available for purchase.
This year, the wet room is at Wekiva Island (formerly Wekiva Marina) at 1014 Miami Springs Road in Longwood. This is also the headquarters for the paint out and is a good place to stop by for general information or to find out where artists are painting on a daily basis.
On Saturday, the Riverfest event takes place at Wekiwa Springs State Park from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission to the park on Saturday is $2 for adults and free to kids 12 and under. Riverfest will feature art for sale that has been created during the paint out. The event also includes documentary film showings, live music, birds of prey demonstrations, and eco-friendly vendors.
All proceeds from the sale of art go to the Friends of the Wekiwa River, a non-profit group whose purpose is to raise awareness about the fragility and importance of this natural resource. Visit www. Wekivapaintout.com for a complete schedule of events, directions, parking shuttle locations and links to each artist’s website.
Extreme Art Show
When talented and innovative artists get together to brainstorm, sparks are bound to fly. Creative sparks that is. The studio artists of Gallery on First put their heads together on a new concept for exposing their art to a wider audience and came up with a novel idea: offer 100 pieces of art for $100 or less.
They all agreed to create art fast and furious for several months and mount a show that featured new art with a small price tag. You can see the results of their efforts on Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m.
Aurore Brunet has taken the challenge of creating fresh art very seriously and for more than a month has posted a new piece each day on her blog. She’s now up to number 42 and has plans to reach 100. You can see the evolution of her work at www.aurorebrunet.com.
Other artists, including Cindy Sturla, Tracy Burke and Ralph Verano, have been posting new work on Facebook to create some pre-event buzz. New images are popping up daily as each artist shares their most recent pieces.
It’s a one-night-only event, so if you’re in the ZIP code, stop in. Come early to pick out your favorite. At $100 or less, you can bet that the fresh art will be grabbed up quickly.
Gallery on First is at 211 E. 1st St.
The value of art
Ohio artist Matthew Litteken explores the themes of art, commerce and value in his show at Seminole State College. The exhibit is comprised of oil paintings, mixed-media collages, and a wall installation that gives the show its name, “Watch the Left Hand Closely.”
The title of the show refers to the concept of presenting art with the skill of a magician. A bit of trickery and fool-the-eye techniques are often employed to achieve desired results.
It was an incident at a craft fair prior to his entry into grad school that prompted his exploration of art and commerce.
After a long day helping a friend sell his wares, Litteken watched a woman pick up a vase and ask, “You want $35 for that?” It was a question that set Litteken to thinking about all that went into the creation of the fine piece, from the physics of the potter’s wheel to the aesthetics of the shape and glaze.
Litteken has been exploring the notion of value in art ever since.
His vivid color scheme may attract the eye at first, but look closely and you will see a repeated design familiar to us all: the currency of the dollar bill.
“The decision to incorporate the motif of U.S. currency within my paintings was a natural extension of my intrigue with these value-judgments – the connection to the very epitome of consumerism in the United States.”
The last day to see the show is Thursday. The fine arts gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is in Building G on the Sanford/Lake Mary campus. Call 407-708-2040 for more information.
MK Shaw can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.