■ STAFF REPORT
The 31st annual Englewood Bank & Trust Invitational Art Festival is back in town next Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 27 and 28 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the grounds of Englewood Bank & Trust’s main branch at 1111 S. McCall Road in Englewood.
The Englewood Bank & Trust Invitational is a small, high-quality boutique-style art show with an impressive list of artists. Sixty of the nation’s top award-winning fine artists and craftsmen will be featured in this world-class art event, and every medium will be represented. Well-known local artist Carroll Swayze is the coordinator of the Art Festival and spends a great deal of time every year searching for new and innovative original artwork to be included in the show.
“It’s hard to believe that the show has been going on so long,” said Swayze. “I remember when local artist James Sears started talking about putting it together with then bank president Ferold Davis all those years ago. Every Tuesday we would meet for artists’ breakfast to talk about what we were all doing, and when Jim brought up the idea of running our own artists’ show, we were pretty excited. Back then Englewood was a true small town, and our group of artists was also small but mighty. Jim Sears, Mary Gegunde, Ben Essenberg, Karen & Russ Hauserman and a few others met every week for breakfast to talk about art and life, and we decided that the Englewood Bank & Trust Invitational would be a good addition to the few art venues that existed at that time. We had enough local artists to fill the show, but when Jim eventually passed the reins to me, I realized that it was time to bring in artists from across the country who were traveling to Florida for the winter show season.”
This year’s Art Festival has something for everyone, from hand-made clothing to large original paintings. Everything from colorful oil painting to fine furniture, from printmaking to beautiful jewelry, from glassblowing to hand-made paper, acrylics, pottery, photography and sculpture. All artwork in the show is hand-made and presented by the artist who creates it, which makes the Art Festival very special and different from many of the festivals during the year.
The Englewood Bank & Trust Invitational Art Festival is a premier art-collecting opportunity for local homeowners and visitors, as well as being a great way to spend a day relaxing and enjoying art in a casual setting. Delicious food and refreshments will be available on site, and Englewood Bank & Trust will provide plenty of free parking.
The hours of the art show are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 27 – 28, and the public is invited to enjoy a day with fine artists and craftsmen from around the world.
For directions and more information about the show, call Carroll Swayze at (941) 266-6434.