The first weekend show will be held Nov. 14 and 15.
Patty Narozny has been in the art show industry for nearly 20 years.
In that time, the executive director of Hot Works fine art shows has weathered all sorts of changes to the industry but nothing quite like 2020's COVID-19 pandemic. After a spring and summer of cancellations and delays around Florida, HotWorks is presenting the Sarasota Open Air Arts Show, a two-day art showcase at Phillippi Estate Park starting Nov. 14.
The new festival will be a fine arts showcase with artists of all stripes showing their paintings, glass, clay, sculptures, wood, jewelry and more.
It will be the first HotWorks arts show held in Sarasota and is surely a product of the changing COVID-19 landscape. Narozny spent much of this year cancelling events and subsequently finding ways to safely present shows at other interested venues. Some cities in Florida are still prohibiting large events, which prompted Narozny to bring her show to the Sarasota County park. Narozny said the plan is to have three art shows at Phillipi Estate Park a year.
“Sarasota gets the economic impacts and positive national exposure for reopening our art shows which have been shut down for nine months,” Narozny said.
Narozny said “Open Air” was added to the title this year to help the audience feel safer. Each art booth is spaced at least seven feet apart.
Planning an art show typically takes months but Narozny has had a few weeks to realize the upcoming show. Luckily, she has a litany of relationships to call upon. When the Sarasota show permits were approved just a few weeks ago, she immediately started reaching out to artists across Florida.
Around 50 artists and vendors will assemble around Phillippi Estate Park in a circle formation. The show will be smaller in scope but will focus on quality over quantity, according to Narozny. Hand sanitizer will be available and masks are encouraged.
“This will be a smaller show, but there will be something available for everyone from new collectors to old collectors," she said.
The event is also partnered with the Institute for the Arts & Education nonprofit, which promotes arts education and enrichment in local communities, for a youth art competition. Narozny encourages students to submit their own artwork to the show for a chance to win a $250 Youth Arts Award, not to mention a two-foot long arts ribbon for every winning artist. The idea is that showing children the business side of the artistic process with an art show can lead to them understanding the process and choosing artistic careers down the road.
"The program exposes students to the rules and entrepreneurship opportunity of doing our shows for a living,” Narozny said. “It brings families to the art show and exposes them to great art. But, especially the schools are not exposing students to the entrepreneurship of doing something they love for a living … It could be an entrepreneurship opportunity for the young kids.”
Having a local show is a nice change of pace for Narozny, who lives in Bradenton. After a season of seeing her events delayed or canceled, she's excited to bring back the in-person touch of an art show, and the promise of a patron/artist relationship that she feels is vital to the industry.
“The (patrons) supported the artists during the time that we have been down and we appreciate that," Narozny said. "It's time to come back out and go meet these artists.”