By Callie Sharkey
For the past 12 years, the Wellington Art Society has presented its Art Fest on the Green, putting new and interesting works of fine art, and the talented artists who create them, in direct contact with the public.
Art Fest on the Green is a free event perfect for people of all ages. The Wellington Amphitheater will be home to the 13th annual juried fine art and fine craft show on Saturday, Jan. 26 and Sunday, Jan. 27.
“Art fairs allow people to interact with the artists face to face in a beautiful setting and learn about their creative process, inspiration, techniques, mediums and accomplishments,” explained event organizer Leslie Pfeiffer, a past president and current board member of the Wellington Art Society. “These experiences add to the excitement and joy of owning artwork and having a story or two to share about the artists. Personal contact with the artists cannot be duplicated through a device in one’s hand. We want people to look up from their screens and experience visually and emotionally the artwork and meet the creative artists.”
This year, more than 50 fine artists and artisans from around the nation will participate. In addition to Florida, artists hail from every corner of the country, spanning from California and Michigan to Maine.
The term “fine” when attributed to art means more than just a picture or a figurine. Visual fine art exists for aesthetic and intellectual reasons. It crosses over many different mediums, including watercolor, painting, sculpture and drawing, to name a few.
“The 54 fine artists participating were selected for their creativity, mastery of technique and level of excellence,” Pfeiffer said.
Jamnea Finlayson, owner of the JF Gallery in West Palm Beach, will judge the event, bringing extensive experience to the table. A curator and gallerist, Finlayson serves as a board member for West Palm Beach Art in Public Places, is secretary for the West Palm Beach Antique Row Art & Design District Association and is vice president of the No More Starving Artists Foundation.
After winner selections are finished, an awards ceremony will take place on Saturday, Jan. 26 at 1 p.m. Pfeiffer and Wellington Art Society President Carolina King will present the awards.
While the award ribbons are nice, Art Fest on the Green is all about the artwork.
Some of the artists featured this year work in unique mediums. Tim Carter is an award-winning fine craft woodworker with 25 years of experience. His most recent works utilize both exotic and local woods enhanced with semi-precious stones.
“The natural grain of the wood tells a story about the tree’s original structure,” Carter explained. “The unique properties of all types of wood intrigue me, and the more I learn, the more intrigued I become.”
Jean Willard, another award-winning artist, is a fine art sculptor with a passion for horses and equine-inspired pieces. Her bronze pieces and commissioned sculptures are in private collections and also exhibited throughout the region.
Watercolorist John Bowen describes his work as “realistic expressionism” and is showcasing pieces that depict the Florida lifestyle. With more than 45 years of experience, Bowen is intrigued by history and regularly donates his work to locations dedicated to preserving history, such as the Bonnet House, Vizcaya Museum & Gardens and the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society.
Mixed media artist Lynn Doyal uses techniques ranging from beading and hand stitching to sequins and paint. She strives to connect with audiences.
“The challenge of making work that is fun, regularly engaging and provides the breath in the course of a person’s day means a great deal to me,” Doyal said. “The intricate detail of my mixed media pieces become a surrealistic and surprisingly fun encounter for the viewer, an encounter that remains captivating.”
In addition to fine art, the team at the Art Cellar in Wellington has partnered with the Wellington Art Society to host a “Young at Art” activity tent filled with imaginative and fun projects for children of all ages to complete and take home. There will also be food trucks at the event, and Scott’s Place playground is nearby.
The nonprofit Wellington Art Society will use the funds gathered from sponsors, community partners, donations and artist entry fees to support its programs. An important part of the group’s mission involves community outreach and a successful scholarship program.
“In the past 12 years, we have given out more than $90,000 in college scholarships to creative, talented students pursuing a visual arts degree,” Pfeiffer said.
She hopes that Art Fest on the Green will showcase culture in Wellington and provide a family-friendly platform to bring fine art to the community as a whole.
Art Fest on the Green runs Saturday, Jan. 26 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The free event will take place at the Wellington Amphitheater, located at 12100 W. Forest Hill Blvd. Visit www.wellingtonartsociety.org for more information.