Review Written by Nathan Wertheimer
Winter Springs, FL — Winter Springs ARToberFEST, presented by Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS), will be held on October 15-16, 2016, at the Winter Springs Town Center. ARToberFEST is produced by the Oviedo-Winter Springs Regional Chamber of Commerce and the City of Winter Springs. Admission to the festival was free for all ages. This is a family-friendly event; the children’s area will include face painting and other arts and crafts provided by our sponsors.
There were over 100 professional artists who have created award-winning pieces at this show. Some of the many mediums include painting, etching, clay, wood, mixed media, watercolor, jewelry and more. While walking around, one can get up close and personal with the artists at their booth. Many of the artists did not mind a person asking questions and or making comments about their artwork.
There were a few art pieces that catch my eye when walking around Blumberg Boulevard at Artoberfest event. The first piece I saw was a United States flag made of used rubber tires mounted on a wooden sheet which was created by John Horrell but goes by the artist name Peter Dragon. He was in booth #205 and has a Pop Art style. For more information on this artist go to http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/peter-dragon.html?tab=artwork .
Another artist I spotted was Shannon Arnold and her husband who created nautical animals painted on wooden art pieces. Many attendees were drawn to the sea turtle animals. All the sea life art pieces are life-like painted on a rustic style wood. The Arnolds are very passionate about their nautical theme. Their motto is “recycling old pallets into artwork.” One could find their work in booth #318. For more information on their work go to http://www.nauticalpallet.com/ .
This year’s Best 2-D of Show was given to artist Jeff Eckert. Eckert is known for his pencil drawings. This was one of Eckert’s first Best in Show award he had received. Most of his subject matter has people posing in various activities with some college of objects. One can describe his work as having the MC Escher style. This artist was in booth #311. For more information on his work go to http://www.jeffeckertpencilart.com/
There were two judges chosen for this year’s Artoberfest. These judges were David Cumbie from Central Florida and Gregory Jones from Lakeland, Florida. On Saturday morning, they set out to judge the art show. As a judge they evaluated all artists booths filled works of art. Sometime the judges chatted with the artists. At the end of the day, they made a decision on all award winners. These awards were presented on Saturday night private dinner for all of the artists.
The top awards given out to these artists for the Ribbon Best of Show 2-D award was given to Jeff Eckert (Booth #311), the Ribbon Best of Show 3-D award was given to Rolly Ray Reel (Booth #424), Ribbon for Award of Excellence was given to David Figueroa (Booth #121) and Jack Hill (Booth #117) to round out the top award winners. Plus, there were other awards given out to for Award of Distinction, Award of Merit, and the Poster Award to be used for next year’s festival marketing campaign.
While the professional artist were in the spot light, the Artoberfest did not leave the Senior Citizens out with their great artwork as well. Many of these Seniors created landscapes, portraits; animals which were on display for sell under one tent. These Senior Citizens took their new hobby seriously. Many of them were on hand to ask questions about their life and artwork.
Besides artwork, there was also great live entertainment from the Orlando-native band Europa, featuring German music that will make you want to dance away. There were a few people on Sunday go up a dance to the German music. At the end of one song one of the singer called out by saying “ticky tacky” and the audience replied back and held to glass cup with beer up.
Some people skipped the artwork for the German Food. They went after the delicious brats served up by the Winter Springs Rotary Club paired with bold German beer from local Red Cypress Brewery was available for purchase, along with a variety of unique wines. I had a chance to try the German beer made from grapefruit juice. It was called “Schofferhofer Grapefruit beer.” The taste was not strong like a typical beer, but a very smooth beer taste. Most adults would love the taste of this beer.
If you did make it out this year, than mark your calendar for next year in October 2017. For more information on ARToberFEST, and visit www.wsfota.org.
Note: Sources of information came from wsfota.org