Great Holiday Shopping, Food and Music at Winterfest

The Anna Maria Island Art League held its twenty-fourth Winterfest Festival of Fine Arts and Fine Crafts on Saturday and Sunday, December 10 and 11, 2011, at City Hall Park in Holmes Beach, Anna Maria Island. The quality of this show had been raised to very high levels in recent years by Art League director Joyce Karp, who stepped down this year. Still, many of the same excellent artists from all around the country were glad to return. Applicants were juried into the show, and then juried for awards by Dr. Barbara Grazul Hubbard, and artist, arts educator and university professor.

One hundred and five artists displayed work in media including ceramics, fiber and paper, glass, pastels, jewelry, metal, mixed media, oils and acrylics, photography, sculpture, watercolors and wood. Prices were extremely reasonable, and some excellent Christmas shopping opportunities were taken advantage of by hundreds of visitors.

Winterfest Anna Maria Island 2011Meanwhile, live music entertained those taking a break to relax or enjoy the food court. On Saturday, the Anna Maria String Band was followed by State Road 64 and then the Gumbo Boogie Band. The music line-up for Sunday started with the Bontrager Sisters, followed by the Anderson Brothers and The Two Howards, Koko Ray, and the Gumbo Boogie Band.

One of the most amazing community booths was Wildlife, Inc., where spectacular birds of prey sat calmly eying the crowds, not a bit ruffled by all the photos that were taken of them. In another booth, Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch director Suzi Fox greeted the public and offered educational material about the sea turtles who nest on the island. Other community booths included Cortez Village Historical Society, AMI Sail and Power Squad and Rotary Club of AMI.

Regular Winterfest features included a popular raffle of art donated by participating artists and a children’s art activity and exhibit area, called “Young at Art.”

The AMI Art League was founded in 1989, and opened its first art center in summer, 1993. Its mission is to encourage emerging and evolving artists of all ages through education, and to enrich the community through the promotion and celebration of the arts. Classes are held at the art center, at 5212 Holmes Blvd. In Holmes Beach. Through its scholarship program, the art league provides free art classes to selected children and adults.

For information about other events that the Anna Maria Island Art League will present this season, or to inquire about classes, call 941-778-2099.

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