30 years of art in Englewood

January 8, 2016
By Marcy Shortuse

Art by Alison Belsan
Art by Alison Belsan

The 30th Annual Englewood Bank & Trust Invitational Art Festival is slated for Saturday & Sunday, January 30 and 31 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the grounds of Englewood Bank & Trust’s main branch, 1111 S. McCall Road in Englewood.
With 60 of the nation’s top award- winning fine artists and craftsmen, it’s not surprising that this small festival has become one of the premier art- collecting events of the season.
Dubbed “The Best Little Art Show in Englewood” by artist/director Carroll Swayze, the festival showcases hand- made original artwork by professional artists in every medium.
“For 30 years, Englewood Bank & Trust has sponsored the Englewood Invitational Art Festival through the use of their property and their support,” said Swayze. “This year is very exciting, because I am directing two art festivals on the property, the original show on January 30 and 31 and the 1st Annual March Art Festival on March 5 and 6. With only 60 spaces each year, I have had to turn down some very fine artists in the past. By adding a second show opportunity, I am able to bring a new group of artists to the community to share their talents.”
“Artists from all over the country travel to Florida during the winter months to participate in the big art festivals such as the Coconut Grove Art Festival in Miami, Gasparilla Art Festival in Tampa and many others. They are always looking for smaller shows to add to their schedules to make the trips successful, so Englewood will reap the benefits of their fabulous work this year.”
This year’s exhibition has something for everyone, from hand-made clothing to exquisite sculpture to large original oil paintings. Everything in the show has to be hand-made by the artist who creates it, which makes the Englewood Bank & Trust Invitational Art Festival very special and different from many festivals during the year.
“The entire community looks forward to the show every winter,” said Swayze. “We are so lucky to have the support of Englewood Bank & Trust, which graciously allows us to use their main branch location for the festival.   They bend over backwards to help me in every way they can. This allows me to bring art to Englewood, and I am very thankful for their participation. I also appreciate the support of Gratia Schroeder and Short Stop Printing, who allow us to use their parking lot for our attendees. It’s definitely a community effort.”
Maria Bone 2
When asked about their support of the arts in Englewood, Bank representative Melissa Laterza responded by saying, “Englewood Bank & Trust is proud to be a part of the local community by providing support to a variety of organizations. A healthy art environment benefits our area artists, our local economy, the education of our students and the beauty of our area. We’re honored to again sponsor the Englewood Area Invitational Art Show.”
Swayze said the Englewood Bank & Trust Invitational Art Festival is a great art-collecting opportunity. Delicious food and refreshments will be available as well, and Englewood Bank & Trust will provide plenty of free parking.
For directions and more information about the show, please call Carroll Swayze at (941) 266-6434.