Artists took humble bales of hay and applied their imagination to create some festive fall scenes for pieces of public art that are strategically placed in spots around Dade City.
The Dade City Hay Bale Painting Project, now in its second year, gives artists a chance to express their creativity and gives visitors to the quaint East Pasco town the opportunity to enjoy the seasonal artworks.
“The Dade City Center for the Arts was pleased to make this our second annual art event, especially since we had such a great community response last year,” said Lucy Avila, of the arts center, via email.
“We are very grateful to our artists who have shared their time and talent to make this art project such a success that is being enjoyed by all,” she added.
The arts center also appreciates the local hay producers who provided giant rolls of hay and delivered them for the project, according to its website.
The hay bales are stationed at locations around Dade City and will be on display through Thanksgiving, the website says. For more information, you can visit DadeCityArts.com.
Some of the artists shared the source of their inspiration with Avila, who, in turn, shared them with The Laker/Lutz News.
Kevin Taggerty, whose image of an American flag on a hay bale is positioned at the Hardy Trail and Church Avenue, told Avila: “I love our country, as well as served it for 23 years in the USAF (U.S. Air Force).
“Veterans Day is in November and it’s a tribute to them.
“I also did a small tribute on the back of the hay bale that shows our 13 stars (colonies) as well as represents the 13 fallen soldiers we recently had in Afghanistan.
“I love our flag. If we don’t start showing our nation respect and step up for her, who else will?
“The flag makes me proud and I feel most Americans get goose bumps when we are gathered around singing the National Anthem.
“I hope this hay bale acts as a unity symbol and grows us closer together,” Taggerty said.
Artist Karen Menard created paintings of sunflowers and a lady bug.
“I have created sunflowers in many forms and mediums, including paint, clay, and with fabric in quilts,” Menard shared. In this case, she used a hay bale.
The image of the lady bug is a tribute to her mother.
“Growing up, my sisters and I were Girl Scouts, and my mother was our troop leader. Her camp name was “Lady,” and my sisters and I and all of our friends called her that name. She passed away a few years ago, but she is fondly remembered whenever we see lady bugs.”
Randy Hernandez shared that he wanted to create a hay bale with a very “fall” feel.
The front is a friendly scarecrow, welcoming visitors to downtown.
The back is his rendition of “a colorful, dreamy landscape that you would typically see in the hills of Dade City.”
Avila noted that this is the first time that opportunities were offered for sponsorships, and these sponsors stepped up to help out: Dennis Realty, Florida Cracker Lunch on Limoges, Greater Dade City Chamber of Commerce, Karatinos Law PLLC, RX Care Pharmacy, Schaper Roofing, Construction & Pools, and Soriano Insurance.
Published October 27, 2021