Fine Arts of the Suncoast Inc., is getting ready for this 13th annual Suncoast Arts Fest — featuring 110 artists from across the country and Canada.
The event, held at The Shops at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel, is scheduled for Jan. 20 and Jan. 21.
When the weather is good, the two-day event has drawn up to 80,000 visitors, said Jennifer Douglas, the festival manager.
She noted that “the quality of the art continues to grow, along with the reputation of the festival.”
The festival manager added that she’s “particularly proud of the live entertainment we’ve lined up for the Mainstage.
“I think our visitors will be blown away by the talent and diversity featured this year,” Douglas said.
Beyond a wide array of art to see and purchase, the free public event also offers live entertainment, chalk art murals, kids’ art projects and other highlights.
Artists must compete for a place in the show, and this year there were 166 applicants vying for a spot. Categories at the show include ceramics/clay, digital, drawing, fiber, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture and wood.
The juried arts competition will award $14,000 in cash prizes.
Live entertainment will be featured on the Mainstage at Center Court, located at the festival midpoint across from Macy’s.
The festival will kick off on Jan. 20 with performances by The Richey Suncoast Kid’s Theatre and The Wesley Chapel Wind Ensemble.
At noon, Gypsy Wind, will share its unique blend of bluegrass, folk and old jazz favorites. Other performers in the afternoon will include The Frankie Raye Trio, and at 3:40 p.m., headliners Violectric, with its passionate fusion of classical string instruments and cutting-edge technology and effects.
As the current Artists-in-Residence at Orlando’s Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, Violectric has opened for Sting, Adam Levine, Ne-Yo, David Foster, Kristen Chenoweth, Katherine McPhee, Sia, Twenty-One Pilots, Rascal Flatts, and Huey Lewis and the News.
On Jan. 21, Suncoast Arts Fest radio sponsor, WGHR Hits 106, will be broadcasting live with performances on the Mainstage by children’s musician, Mr. Harley; followed by classical world guitarist Nikola Baltic, and Pasco favorites Barefoot Bob and the Hope. Tampa blues legend Sarasota Slim will close out the festival.
The event also has plenty of activities for kids.
The Kids’ Art Garden, presented by Suncoast Credit Union, has free Picasso-themed art projects, face painting and a scavenger hunt.
The Art Makerspace, sponsored by Chasco Middle School, will demonstrate its mobile 3D printer, and the festival’s Emerging Artist Exhibit will be back, featuring the talent of Pasco County elementary, middle and high school students.
Other highlights will include chalk artists and strolling entertainment by the Bay Area Renaissance Festival.
Suncoast Arts Fest is produced by Fine Arts of the Suncoast Inc., a charitable organization dedicated to developing a community culture that embraces the arts.
All proceeds from the Suncoast Arts Fest benefit “Arts for Education,” a grant fund created by the festival’s parent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Fine Arts of the Suncoast Inc. This mini-grant program provides project support to supplement arts education funding in public, private and charter schools in Pasco County.
In 2017, more than $6,000 in mini-grants was awarded, bringing the grand total distributed to nearly $100,000 since the organization’s inception.
Suncoast Arts Fest
Where: The Shops at Wiregrass
When: Jan. 20, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Jan. 21, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Cost: Free admission and parking
Details: A juried show featuring works by 110 fine arts and crafts artists from across the nation and Canada. The event also features live entertainment and children’s activities.
Published January 17, 2018