St. Armands was packed with art lovers roaming the Circle on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 as they enjoyed a newly added weekend of the St. Armands Circle Art Festival. From watercolor paintings to sculptures to clothing, the weekend showcased the vibrant community of artists in the area.
Leigh Engh just moved to the area and was fascinated by the wide variety of things to see at the festival.
“This was better than I expected. I thought it was just supposed to be a craft festival so I was a little bit surprised. There is so much to see, so many star artists just waiting to be discovered.”
Here are a few of the outstanding artists whose work was shown at the St. Armands Art Festival.
Growing up in Ghana, Africa, Alfred Adobe’s artwork was inspired by his childhood. His father was a sculptor who encouraged him to use anything in his environment to express himself through art. He now lives in Suwanee, Georgia.
“We grew up playing with sawdust and making sandcastles with it,” said Adobe. “I started using it for my influence about 28 years ago. I use it in different ways like using different adhesive, molding it into different shapes and finishing different styles. This time I finished it with metallic colors which makes it look even better."
Each art piece displayed at the festival is made completely out of sawdust. He said he loves to make art in an eco-friendly way and it motivates him to work hard to make all his work extra special.
A longtime art festival artist, April Davis originally was a biology major in college but switched to art after being encouraged by a high school art teacher. She has been an artist for 40 years and has been doing festivals for 20 years.
Davis specializes in landscape paintings, with a variety from lush tropical landscapes to vivid cityscape recreations. She has a gallery in Jupiter, Florida.
She also has taught at the University of Pittsburgh on topics such as oil painting, watercolor, drawing and design. She received the teaching excellence award for her time there.
“St. Armands Circle is so special, because it gets not only the local people but it gets lots of tourists,” said Davis. “It's usually a very sophisticated art buying crowd, which is nice. So I think it was great that they added this extra date in the festival scene.”
Originally from Ukraine, Alina Eydelia focuses on creating work based on her spirituality. She hopes to provide meditative processes that represent love, health and gratitude through her paintings.
Her art featured at the festival is uniquely made out of butterflies sustainably farmed in developing countries.
“After the butterflies die within 1-14 days after emerging from the chrysalis, the farmers collect and sell the insects instead of poaching them or logging the valuable rainforest,” said Elizabeh Dashiell, from Palm Beach Public Relations.
Eydelia now lives in Naples and is a frequent artist at the festivals.
“I just take dictation from God. This is God's paintbrush,” said Jonathan Herbert.
Originally from New York, Herbert now lives in Sarasota and has been in the art world for 50 years.
He focuses on using art to process past traumas and show the world what he is feeling deep down.
Herbert’s most recent paintings are created with alchemical acrylic and urethane paint on a canvas. He makes his paints from scratch.
This is his debut to the art festival world after sticking strictly to displaying his art in galleries.
“I’m so excited to be talking to people and not leaving it to some other person to sell. This is the perfect way to meet new people in the area and share my creativity and art.”
Petra Rivera is the Longboat community reporter. She holds a bachelor’s degree of journalism with an emphasis on reporting and writing from the University of Missouri. Previously, she was a food and drink writer for Vox magazine as well as a reporter for the Columbia Missourian.