On Longboat Key, art and politics do mix. On March 24, the town hosted the community at town hall alongside the artists from the 71st town hall art show.
Assistant to the town manager Susan Phillips has been organizing the shows for 19 years and has gotten back in the swing of hosting receptions after a long pause due to Covid. On March 24, more than 100 residents attended to browse and buy art from 14 local artists. Many of the artists, like Patrick and Sandy Bogert and Lynn Armstrong Coffin, had presented at town hall before, but a few newbies made their way into the gallery.
"This is all new for me and it's fun to be here," artist Madeline Wikler said.
Artists submitted pieces to hang on the walls of the town commission chamber and in the halls, and brought even more pieces for the reception. Some, like Pat Lundy, set up tables with smaller pieces available for purchase, and others, like Barbara Jendrysik, brought other pieces they were proud of and set up easels. Jendrysik brought "Captivating," a portrait of a woman with a glittering diamond earring set against an oceanic background.
"I had it before with just a blue background ... but I entered it at ArtCenter Manatee into a show called 'Fishing for Diamonds,' and the painting had to have diamonds," Jendrysik said. "I thought, 'That's what she's missing!'"
Residents and elected officials browsed the art and snacked on light bites from the Longboat Key Club throughout the evening and met with artists.