Greg Jones of Lakeland was awarded Best of Show at the 11th Annual Winthrop Arts Festival and Market held on the last weekend of March.

The 11th Annual Winthrop Arts Festival and Market was held over the weekend of March 30 and 31 in beautiful Winthrop Common in Riverview. Residents who came out to the festival met many talented artists, enjoyed shopping from great vendors, listened to wonderful live entertainment and participated in fun children’s activities. New to this year’s festival was the inclusion of TBBCA-sponsored Chalkwalk artists and food trucks from Tampa Bay Food Trucks.

The 11th Annual Winthrop Arts Festival and Market is a juried art show. The three judges for this year’s show were John Costin, an award-winning watercolor artist who creates original etchings; Kathy Durdin, a national award-winning watercolor and mixed media artist; and Victoria Saunders, the cofounder of MAKE Plant City and creator of Instagramers of Plant City.

Saunders, on behalf of all three judges, said, “Our criteria was seeing something that challenged us and something we have never seen before. We were looking for consistency amongst the artists’ body of work and how they pushed their techniques.”

Thanks to sponsors, including First Citrus Bank, Winthrop Arts was able to give out over $5,000 in prize money. This included $2,500 to the Best of Show winner, Greg Jones of Lakeland.

The judges said of Jones’ work, “We felt the types of work that he did were consistent. They were engaging of the viewer and have an interesting use of materials. Jones’ work hit all the categories of technical excellence as well.”

Jones is a mixed media painter who specializes in landscapes and still life. Jones said, “There were very good artists in this show. I am surprised that I came out ahead of them.”

Other winners included first place winner Rolly Ray Reel of Maitland, second place winner Marilyn Valliancourt of Weeki Wachee, third place winner Katherine Michael of Tampa and honorable mention winner Mike Knapp of Temple Terrace.

New this year were two awards for Emerging Artists, which are defined as an artist who is in the early stage of their career as an artist regardless of their age. This year, Ben Hough of Riverview and JoAnne Scott of St. Petersburg were the winners. The judges were impressed with the innovative ways that both Hough and Scott used the materials to create their respective art.

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