Artists from as far away as Vermont turned out for the Brandon '86 Rotary's First Annual Winthrop Art Festival, held May 1-3, 2009, at the New Urbanism community in the Greater Brandon area. The three-day festival in Riverview, Fla., drew more than 80 artists. The awards ceremony was held May 2 in the Barn Theatre at Winthrop, an occasion at which the Rotary club also celebrated the Kentucky Derby (hence, the hats!) with a large-screen television viewing of the race. Each table was assigned a horse in the race and, as luck would have it, the Manning table also won that contest as well. The three-day festival opened with a Friday night "Chillville," featuring a Reggae band and a unique, and artistic, look for the former working barn's old cow troth. “Everything here today is very impressive,” said glassblower artist and Rotarian Ryan Odiorne, pictured at left, with Winthrop Town Artist Bryant Martinez, at the awards presentation. “The quality of the work goes from very good to excellent. The work is just unbelievable.” Sculptor Trent Manning, center, received the show's highest honor, Best of Show, and a check for $3,000. With him are festival chairman Mary Boor, left, and Brandon '86 Rotary President, and former Honorary Mayor of Brandon, Becky Jordan. The list of winners also includes: painter David Kennedy (Award of Excellence, $1,500), mixed-media artist Gregory Jones (Award of Distinction, $750) and Rick Sanders (Award of Merit, $500). Honorable mention recognition went to five artists, each of whom received a check for $250: Bill Darrah (mixed media), Dan Balk (jewelry), Josephina Espinosa (glass artist), Anthony Swartwood (painter), and Lodegario Rodriguez Reumel (painter). - MyPaperNow.com - Your Stories. Your Life ©
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