With Arts & Entertainment Editor Kathy L. Collins

The 9th Annual Winthrop Arts Festival and Artisan Market was held over the weekend of March 24 and 25 in beautiful Winthrop Common in Riverview. Residents who came out met many talented artists, enjoyed good food from Winthrop restaurants including Boca, Ciccio Cali’s, Moe’s and EATS American Grille. They also listened to great music. Children had fun doing crafts at the Art Factory booth and the Blake High School tent.

The Winthrop Arts Festival and Artisan Market is a juried fine arts show, The three judges for this year’s show were Dr. Rick Gaspar, Professor of Mass Communications at HCC Ybor Campus; Michelle Moseley, Senior Development Officer at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota; and Kay Sullivan, president of the Winthrop Arts Board of Visionaries and co- founder of Winthrop.

Sullivan said on behalf of the judges, “The judges were impressed with the high caliber of new and returning artists. It took us about three and a half hours to select the 2017 winners. However, we were unanimous in our decisions.”

Winthrop Arts was able to give out $4,000 in awards this year. Katharine Sullivan-Dawes, Director of Everything for Winthrop Arts said, “We had a high level of artistic talent this year, and we were proud to award over $4,000 to our winning artists, including $2,500 to our Best of Show artist, Jinsheng Song. We more than doubled our prize money from last year’s festival and we are so grateful to our sponsors.”

This year’s winners were Jinsheng Song (Ft. McCoy, FL), Best of Show; Barbara Wiley (Riverview), First Place; Diane Stover (Brooksville), Second Place; Rachel Ratcliff (Clearwater), Third Place; and Ralph Lopez ( Valrico), Honorable Mention.

Community members sponsored awards for artists in the Friends of Winthrop category and these winners included Lenny Cabanero-Harvey (Winthrop Board of Visionaries); Sam Evenson (Osprey Observer); Angela Sulick (Children’s Kastle); Seth Sullivan-Dawes (A & A Alarm); Paul Sumberg (Yellow Fin Realty); and Jan Herman (Center State Bank).

For information, visit www.winthroparts.org.

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