By Kathy L. Collins

After a one year hiatus, the much-loved Gallery Hop was held on Saturday, September 14 to the delight of many throughout the greater Brandon area. The event, sponsored by the Greater Brandon Arts Council, the Brandon League of Fine Arts and Center Place, is a free event that showcases area artists, art galleries, boutiques and more.

Gallery Hoppers had the opportunity to visit six venues located throughout the greater Brandon area. Hoppers were treated to a diverse amount of art, entertainment and instruction.

In Winthrop Town Centre, both Sketch and Sip and the Beaux Arts Gallery had lots of activities. Sketch and Sip offered a “make and take” art project. Beaux Arts Gallery showcased beautiful handmade jewelry, music and the beautiful artwork which adorns the walls of the gallery. Also in Winthrop, the FishHawk Mermaid, Eden Sirene, entertained adults and children as she splashed about the Winthrop fountain.

At Orange Home Accessories in Valrico, artist Beth Kaufman led a workshop in making wonderfully creative dichroic fused glass pendants. Down the way at The Green Boutique, several area artists demonstrated their craft. Roxanne Tobaison, one of the demonstrating artists said, “This is a great way to showcase the talented artists that live in the area. It’s been fun getting to see all of the other venues as well.”

At the Pottery Patch in Valrico, attendees could choose from a selection of Christmas ornaments to paint. Hoppers also had the opportunity to visit the Bead Boutique in Brandon and create a fun project.

Gallery Hop co-chairs, Patty Sisco and Jennie Sikora-Muehl were happy with the outcome. Sikora-Muehl said, “We’ve gotten great feedback that has been very complimentary about the event. Many did not expect to have the amount of traffic that they had today.”

The day culminated with a festive reception held at Center Place. The reception is held in conjunction with the Annual ARTWORKS art show sponsored by the Brandon League of Fine Arts. Those who visited all six venues were eligible to win great baskets offered by the participating businesses and organizations. All in all, it was a great day for the community.


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