110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
By Rick Tonyan
posted Mar 16, 2013 - 8:13:00pm
Few people are looking forward to this year’s DeLand Outdoor Art Festival more than Nancy Skinner and Karen Seymour.
Both West Volusia artists are eager to enter their works in the 48th annual fair being held Saturday and Sunday, March 23-24.
For Skinner, of Orange City, it’s the first time she will enter work in the fair that takes place each spring at Earl Brown Park, 751 S. Alabama Ave.
For Seymour, of DeLand, it’s a return after about a dozen years’ absence.
For both artists, the Outdoor Art Festival is a chance to display their works to thousands who come for the arts, crafts, music and food. Admission to the park is free.
Skinner, an upstate New York native, already has scored big in the West Volusia art world. She won the blue ribbon in November at the Pioneer Art Settlement Jamboree in Barberville.
Skinner specializes in a technique called reverse-glass painting. She paints what amounts to a mirror image of the finished work on a sheet of Plexiglas. Then, the sheet is reversed and fixed to canvas. The technique gives an illusion of depth to the image.
“I want them to look like decals,” Skinner said. “I like doing unusual things.”
Among the unusual things she does is frame some of her works with snowshoes from the Adirondack Mountain area of her home state.
Skinner got into painting after the factory in which she worked sewing wallets closed. She’s been in West Volusia since 2000.
“I’ve had my share of snow and cold,” she said. “I’ve got a Florida driver’s license now. I feel like a real Floridian.”
Skinner’s work will be displayed in the judged section of the fair. That’s the section in which artists compete for ribbons and money. This year’s competition will be judged by Josh Garrick, an Orlando writer, photographer, fine-art curator and consultant, and Mike Nemnich, an Indialantic printmaker who specializes in oil pastels.
Seymour will be in the crafts section, where she will sell her pine trees made of sparkling, tinted glass. Other crafters will offer wares ranging from handmade jewelry to carved wooden toys.
“I support DeLand whenever I can,” Seymour said. “I just hope the sun is shining those days.”
Seymour professionally cuts and fits glass and mirrors. One day, her sister telephoned and told her about seeing glass Christmas trees for sale in a mall. That gave Seymour the inspiration to start her hobby.
The trees are made by stacking squares of cut glass. Each square is ground smooth so the trees don’t have rough edges. Seymour’s trees range from 2 to 6 inches tall.
Skinner and Seymour will be among more than 135 artists and crafters expected at the Outdoor Art Festival this year.
For the fourth year, the Art Festival will partner with the Florida Wildflower and Garden Festival in Downtown DeLand. Organizers of both events intend to keep the partnership going.
A free shuttle bus will run between Downtown DeLand and Earl Brown Park, for those wanting to attend both events between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday, when the Wildflower Festival will close on March 23.
The Art Festival will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, and will continue on Sunday as well.
Since the Wildflower Festival is a one-day event, the Art Festival becomes the only show in town on Sunday, March 24. Hours on Sunday are 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
The art festival debuted in 1965. It was first organized by local artists Joe Elliott and Virginia Clausen, and was held on the sidewalks of Downtown DeLand. Then, for several years, it took place in the parking lot of a downtown bank.
The festival continued to grow until it moved to the more spacious park.
As usual, musical performances of country, folk, bluegrass, blues and other styles will be going on throughout most of both days of this year’s festival. Entertainers will be on stage between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Vendors will be selling a wide variety of food both days.
Festivalgoers also may enter drawings held hourly each day 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Winners receive certificates for $100 of goods to be bought at the festival.
Meanwhile, The West Volusia Beacon newspaper will continue its tradition of sponsoring the Art Festival Student Division. Casey Marshall, a local graphic designer, and Georgia Dickson, owner of Art Studio 308 in Downtown DeLand, are co-sponsors. The Student Division features artwork from students throughout West Volusia.
Youth art will be displayed and judged on Saturday, March 23. Students may enter up to five items and the items may be in more than one media.
Deadline for registration is March 19.
For more information, visit the festival’s website at www.delandoutdoorartfest.com.
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