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Friday, Nov 16, 2018
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Winthrop show artists and artisans find purpose in their work

— Looking for a “broad spectrum of artists and mediums,” the Winthrop Arts Festival returned for an eighth year, with a new name reflecting its broader reach.

“It’s exactly the same festival, just a little change in the name,” said Katharine “Kat” Sullivan-Dawes, who goes by the title, “director of everything,” for the not-for-profit Winthrop Arts Board of Visionaries.

This year, the expanded name — Winthrop Arts Festival and Artisan Market — reflects better “what was really happening,” Sullivan-Dawes added, “that there were two separate markets going on.”

Indeed, the show drew to its booths artists and their fine arts creations — such as paintings, photography and mixed-media pieces — whose works are juried and judged. Also in the mix are artisans who craft such things as jewelry and home décor.

“Artisans take something that exists and make something new, something that can be replicated over and over again,” Sullivan-Dawes said.

Case in point, the upcycled materials used by Jenny Kennedy for her GypsyGuild startup.

“This is my first time at the festival,” she said. “Kat and I had mutual friends in high school who reconnected us.”

With a passion for design and a desire to create jobs, Kennedy, a graduate of the arts magnet program at Blake High School in Tampa, is marketing her products and ideas with an eye toward an online Kickstarter campaign. The aim is to raise funds and awareness for an enterprise that hires people to fashion from old textiles artful everyday products, including purses, medicine pouches, journals, jewelry, yoga mats, meditation cushions, fanny packs and stickers.

Diane Stover returned to the festival for a second year, with her palette-knife paintings. She is no stranger to her art, having started in her 20s with pastels, encouraged by a mother who wanted her children “to be creative and use their imaginations,” Stover said.

For Seth Sullivan-Dawes, his artistic bent started in childhood, with a father who did photography. Sullivan-Dawes, who is married to the Winthrop Art director, got his own start taking photographs for a friend’s band, then other bands, and then finding inspirations in landscapes.

After his first-show jitters died down, Sullivan-Dawes said it was encouraging “to receive a lot of positive feedback,” for his work detailing his travels to other places, including Greece; the United Kingdom, his childhood home; and Iceland, where the couple honeymooned.

Also at his first show was Tim Hoffmeister, of Brandon, who turned to sculpting glass after a career as an executive chef and ice sculptor.

“I missed sculpting ice,” he said. “I carved ice for 15 years. I can’t do it anymore, it’s too heavy. So now I sculpt glass.”

The youngest artist in attendance, Gigi Moskowitz, 6, of Valrico, with her sister, Celia, 8, made money selling hand-painted shells, canvases and tiles. “Art makes me feel great,” Gigi Moskowitz said.

Fine art was judged in five categories, for awards totaling $2,000. Tony Moore, for Best in Show, received $2,000. Karen Owens, Paul Sumberg and Lynda Fishbourne, placing first, second and third, respectively, received $500, $250 and $150. For honorable mention, Angela Sulick received $100.

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