Although Palm Aire resident Joy Pendergast majored in art in college, she didn’t start painting full time until she was 49 years old.
“I used to go like a gypsy with racks in my van and hang up my stuff,” she said. “It was a lot of fun.”
Now, at 76 and retired, she's no longer traveling around finding a place to share her art. She has the Art Association of Palm Aire's Annual Art Show to showcase her watercolor paintings. Pendergast has participated in the art show since she moved to the area 15 years ago.
Thirty artists are showcasing 107 pieces of art at the 37th annual event, which started Feb. 17. The free show will end Feb. 23 and is open to the public. Art pieces include watercolors, oils, acrylic, sculptures and more.
“People hang their pieces in the show, and it’s surprising because you know (the artists) from playing golf or seeing them on the tennis courts, but you didn’t know what they could do [with art],” Pendergast said. “You’re seeing another side of people.”
Ellise Elmore, a Palm Aire resident who moved to the area two years ago, is a self-described realist when it comes to her oil paintings of landscapes and foliage or anything with light and shadows.
"Because I'm a realist, I just want to get everything perfect," Elmore said. "It just takes forever [to finish a piece]."
While some members who are displaying their work are retired professional artists, others have just started.
Palm Aire residents who participated in a class Pendergast hosted to introduce people to watercolor painting will also have an opportunity to showcase their work in the show.
“It’s trying to include other people from the club and get people interested in art who might think they don’t have any artistic ability,” Pendergast said.
Elmore also coordinated an Art Experience Day where club members were introduced to different mediums and could take their projects home. Some projects will be displayed in the new artists section of the show.
"It's really exciting to see people that are so proud that do have this talent," Elmore said. "It's things they didn't think they could do."
On Feb. 18, the association hosted an Artists’ Reception where the Ruth Levin and Ringling Scholarship was awarded to a student the Ringling College of Art and Design selected.
June Paton, organizer of the art show, said the association is thrilled to continually provide a scholarship to a Ringling College of Art and Design student each year.
Palm Aire Country Club members will enjoy the art show’s Gala Dinner Dance, which has the theme Gaugin’s Tropical Paradise, Feb. 21.
Paton said the art show not only promotes artists’ work but also draws people into the club, which helps to increase club membership.
Elmore said the association was a one of the main reasons she joined the country club.
"It's an active group with a lot of talented people," she said. "They are very involved in educating people and trying to keep people involved in the arts in the area."