Juried art show returns to Lakewood Ranch Main Street this weekend

dgraham@bradenton.comMarch 11, 2013 

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Painting and drawing, sculpture, fine crafts, photography, jewelry and pottery are among the works planned for the 13th annual Art at the Ranch show 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday on Lakewood Ranch Main Street.

More than 70 artist booths will be part of the juried show, including Manatee resident Linda Heath's Gyotaku fish rubbings, a Japanese art where fish prints are utilized in creating artworks.

"This art form is recorded and dates back to the 1800s in Japan, where it was used to record and verify fishermen's catch to get paid by the fishmonger," Heath said. "Back in the mid-1980s I worked in international trade and in Washington, D.C., so I was able to travel in China and Taiwan. There I saw Gyotaku art and was enamored with it."

Completely self-taught, Heath catches the fish herself, often fromher yard on the Manatee River, and uses the fish for rubbings and artwork before she cleans and eats them.

"I catch the fish and make beautiful art with the fish," she explained. "At end of day, because I use water soluble ink, I have them for dinner and the bones go into my crab trap, and it's the full cycle of life."

Heath has been success-ful enough as an artist to exhibit at about 30 juried art shows a year, mostly in Florida.

"It's just absolutely gorgeous, with Japanese rice paper and Japanese sumi ink. Rice papers have all different textures and colors. It's sustainable art," she said.

Also participating in Art at the Ranch will be potter Ken Shields.

"It's my local show. It's the one I do every year," said the Sarasota artist. "Last year got first place in the pottery category."

Awards for winners in each category will be announced at the show.

"It's a well-run show. The people who put it on are very friendly," said Shields, who likes the smaller nature of the event.

Shields began his work in 1990, taking a ceramics class at what is now State College of Florida.

"Some of the artists are new; some are from previous shows," said Christina Sutor, special events coordinator for ArtCenter Manatee. "What we look for basically is craftsmanship. Because it's a fine arts festival, we are looking for finer art and quality," she said.

Admission and parking are free.

Dee Graham, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-748-0411, ext. 7027, or tweet @DeeGrahamBH.

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