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Fine Art Festival to be held at The Community House

By Staff | Jan 13, 2016

Anisa Stewart will have her jewelry on display during the Sanibel Community Association Fine Art Festival Friday, Jan. 15, and Saturday, Jan. 16. PHOTO PROVIDED

The grounds of The Community House will be transformed into a fine arts festival this weekend guaranteed to showcase something for everyone.

Richard Sullivan, who is running and managing the Sanibel Community Association Fine Art Festival, said since he has held a festival in November at The Community House for a long time, they decided to introduce another to the community in January.

“I have a show in November and I raise funds for BIG ARTS and The Community House,” he said. “There was an opportunity to do a show in January.”

The festival will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Jan. 15, and Saturday, Jan. 16.

“We are so very thankful for people like Richard who are stepping forward and utilizing their personal skills to help us raise needed operating funds to keep The Community House open for all,” The Community House Executive Director Teresa Riska-Hall said.

The two day festival will showcase no more than 70 artists ranging from bronze artists, to jewelers and photographers. Sullivan said the artists who were interested in participating sent images of their work and they decided which pieces would be well-received.

“One of the things we do, especially on Sanibel, is we try to bring good quality paintings and good sculptures and excellent jewelry,” he said, adding that they also bring in starter kit items. “There is something for everyone. If grandma brings the kids by, there is something they can enjoy. We know there are residents, people that are visiting. It makes it a little more enjoyable.”

One of the artists featured is Anisa Stewart, who was born and raised in Southwest Florida. Her artwork has an influence of sea life and wildlife, something that stemmed from working at “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge as a high school student.

Stewart also spent 15 years working for Mark Loren Designs where she learned the craft of making jewelry and how to run a business. In 2004, she began carving animals in wax before casting them in silver, which turned out to be a huge hit as presents. What started off as jewelry of dolphins and anhingas has grown to more than 50 animals from across the world. Stewart has also begun creating pieces of snook, tarpon and redfish.

She will have her gold and sterling silver jewelry on display during the festival.

Sullivan said with a smaller number of artists, they can spread out and display their pieces giving attendees the advantage of browsing.

“You can walk through and look at everything and go back and see things you enjoy without forgetting where it is,” he said.

Sullivan said the location at The Community House, 2173 Periwinkle Way, is perfect for individuals to ride their bikes to because of all the accessible bike racks. There will also be plenty of parking across the street from The Community House.

“The turnover of the parking spaces are a little more rapid,” Sullivan said due to the size of the festival.

For more information about the festival, call Sullivan at (239) 293-9448.

Follow Meghan @IslanderMeghan on Twitter.