Sarasota Wildlife Art Festival

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Posted: Saturday, March 2, 2013 6:53 pm | Updated: 1:11 pm, Wed Jul 31, 2013.

SARASOTA--The Sarasota Wildlife Art Festival got off to a cold yet enthusiastic start today at Ken Thompson Park. Along with the many art exhibitors, there was food and beverages available for purchase to enhance the chilly yet festive atmosphere.

Judging began early in the day and many artists displayed ribbons denoting their rankings. The works were evaluated by instructors at the Ringling College of Art and Design.

Photographer Steve Nesius had an array of photos on display of Florida wildlife and a few from New Jersey. "I spent two weeks in New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy photographing the aftermath. The Seaside Heights roller coaster in the ocean really resonated with me." He was on assignment with Reuters at the time and you can see a striking photo of the partially submerged roller coaster here.

Evelyne Crowe had many pieces of traditional African art at her showcase (see photo) which she said were carved by her father. Her son was also there helping to engage customers and pack/unpack making it a cross-generational affair.

Anna Maria Island's Robert James Johnson featured some beautifully vibrant paintings inspired by Manatee County's natural environment (see photo). He is a frequent participant in the Suncoast's local art show scene.

Artist Ernest M. Lee was there strumming a one-string musical instrument as a backdrop to his impressive collection of prints and original oil and acrylic paintings. Many were brightly colored and featured scenes of his grandfather in a natural Florida setting.

Dress warmly and enjoy the show which runs March 2-3. Admission is $5, free for 12 and under which includes admission to the Save Our Seabirds sanctuary and a discount to the Mote Marine Laboratory.

For more information, visit www.sarasotawildlifefest.com

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