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Sanibel Community House Fine Art Festival to feature over 50 artists

By Staff | Jan 17, 2018

Dozens of artists will have their work on display during an annual festival set for Jan. 19-20.

Hosted by the Sanibel Community Association and boulderbrook productions, the Sanibel Community House Fine Art Festival will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Community House. It will feature over 50 artists showcasing a range of work, including paintings, sculptures, jewelry, hand blown glass, photography and more.

“We have a lot of requests for art festivals and people love them,” Teresa Riska-Hall, executive director of The Community House, said. “Plus, January’s kind of the slower season for people here on the island, so it gives them something for them to do.”

The festival is smaller in size as it puts a cap on the number of participating artists.

“It’s a small boutique show. It’s not as big as some of the other fairs,” she said. “But, we get a more unique quality (of work) – it might be a one-of-a-kind pottery or silk painted lamp shades.”

The featured artist this year is Nancy Tome, of Fort Myers. According to Richard Sullivan, of boulderbrook productions, Tome is self taught and has become a world-renowned wildlife painter.

Tome began her art career as an illustrator in the public relations field. She began her fondness for painting wildlife when worked as an illustrator for the Los Angeles Zoo. She has traveled all over the United States, working on coyote and pronghorn research projects in Yellowstone National Park, whooping crane release programs for Florida Fish and Wildlife and fish studies for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department in Florida.

Tome has also worked as a zookeeper and studied animal behavior and anatomy extensively. Sullivan noted that her education and work experience has contributed to her keen eye for making each bird or animal as lifelike as possible. Using research obtained from spending time at locations like the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Tome compiles all of her knowledge and understanding of an animal and its environment into a realistic and emotional scene.

“Working mainly with acrylics, Nancy combines bold colors with intense detail to depict animals in their natural environment. Her paintings are designed to capture ‘a moment in time’ of that animal’s daily life,” he said in a prepared statement. “Emotion is a strong component of her artwork and appealing to the emotional side of an animal’s existence, in a positive way, is an important factor to Nancy’s art.”

Sullivan added that many of Tome’s award-winning originals and prints are hanging in private collections throughout the world.

In addition to the artists, there will be gourmet food booths and light entertainment.

“Ice cream or hot food – enough for a bit to eat,” Riska-Hall said. “Sometimes they’ll have speciality desserts or drinks.”

Proceeds from the festival will benefit The Community House and the association.

“It goes directly back to The Community House,” she said.

Off-site parking is available if the grounds become full. Riska-Hall explained that there will be attendants and signs to direct motorists, along with shuttles to transport them back and forth.

She encouraged the community and visitors to stop by.

“You can’t stay on the beach all the time. You gotta do something,” Riska-Hall said, adding that the festival is family-friendly. “There’s a little bit for everyone – most people find something to buy that they can’t live without.”

For more information, call 239-472-2155 or visit sanibelcommunityhouse.net.

The Community House is at 2173 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel.