St Johns River Festival of the Arts

Featured Artists at the St. Johns River Festival of the Arts

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Historic Downtown Sanford celebrated the 8th Annual St. Johns River Festival of the Arts this past weekend and the brick streets of downtown buzzed with an eclectic mix of arts and craft vendors from across the country. This year’s theme was “Art-in-Action” with live demonstrations, chalk artists, and workshops for attendees to express their creativity.

I took a tour of the festival and caught some of the highlights:

Castellanos Art Gallery & More…

Felix Castellanos has a recipe for his artwork:

1 tablespoon of pop art.

1 tablespoon of Cezanne-esque Cubism.

1 tablespoon of graffiti conceptual.

1 tablespoon of Latino candor.

1 tablespoon of Joy Poetics.

½ cups of happiness.

He likes to add a dash of humor too.

The Egg Man

You can’t find this anywhere else. The shelves under this tent were stocked with solid wood eggs boasting intricate designs. Artist Alan Traynor discovered his knack when he attempted to paint actual eggs and failed, Humpty-Dumpty-style, on multiple occasions. But when it came to wooden eggs, his artwork went wild. You have to see it to believe it: eggmanart.com.

Art by Chelsea

Upon visiting her tent, I don a pair of 3D glasses and watch her drawings and copper etchings break apart in swirls of color.

“I begin a piece by taking most of my inspirations from animals, nature, fantasy, and mythology which have always been a major love and inspiration of mine,” Chelsea says on her site.

I snap a photo of her and say how her fashion is an art in itself. Check her out: artbychelsea.com.

Ken Jensen Pottery

Pottery meets music in artist Ken Jensen’s tent. He strums a guitar made of stoneware. Horns that twist and curl sound like shofars.

“I found that I loved Raku firing with airbrushed underglazes, fast cooled crackle, and copper glazes,” Ken says on his site (kenjensenpottery.com).

Wood Banks by Ron Weltmer

Move aside classic piggy bank. Artist Ron Weltmer has taken the doors from old post boxes—old as in from the 1800s and the 1900s—and has fashioned them to wood boxes. They’re rustic and steampunkesque. Saving money has never looked classier.

Copper Creations by Bruce Trewyn

Artist Bruce Trewyn unleashed his creativity when he told his wife he could replicate sunshine. Not only did his artwork brighten the day, but it expanded to include animals and sea life. Now, Bruce uses copper and a range of recycled materials for his treasures. See his pieces: coppercreationsrepurposed.com.

Art by Ellery Gutierrez

Artist Ellery Gutierrez caught his inspiration from the paintings of the Renaissance and Baroque of the Old Italian masters. Fast forward and the self-taught artist is now capturing figures, flowers, and tropical fruits in oil painting. His work has been exhibited internationally.

Call me old-fashioned. But I love a good still-life painting.

As I explored the festival, Last Two Standing serenaded us with swing music as I saw hundreds of visitors enjoy the festival.  This truly is one of the most unique and eclectic art festivals I’ve ever attended

Rachel Sammons

Rachel slings lattes at Palate Coffee Brewery, pens the arts column for the Sanford Herald, and eats a lot of Pocky. When in Sanford, she likes to sing that line from "It's Time" by Imagine Dragons that goes, "I don't ever want to leave this town!"

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