BRADENTON -- An unusual trio of displays drew a crowd of art aficionados to the ArtCenter Manatee opening reception Thursday.
Work in various mediums from 89 artists now grace the walls and halls of ArtCenter Manatee in three different juried displays.
ArtCenter Manatee Executive Director Carla Nierman managed the "East Meets West" exhibit, which showcased separately the talents of artists from the Creative Arts Association of Lakewood Ranch and the Artists Guild of Anna Maria Island in one place for the first time.
"They never get together," Nierman said. "I think it's the geography. The island doesn't want to come all the way to Lakewood Ranch and Lakewood Ranch doesn't want to drive all the way to Anna
Artists Guild of Anna Maria Island member David Campbell's steel, copper, sterling silver and calcite "Sun Maiden" won Best of Show. Joan Brummer's "On the Road to Lisbon" oil painting won first place in the Creative Arts Association of Lakewood Ranch exhibit. Marlene Wurzbach's "Storm Watch" acrylic took first place for the Artists Guild of Anna Maria Island.
"Paint the Town," a third display helmed by Nierman, features plein aire (outdoor paintings) of sights in Cortez Village, Anna Maria, Riverwalk and Kings Farm. Robert Simone's $2,500 "Waiting for the Next Set" oil on linen was named Best of Cortez by juror Hodges Soileau with Jane Chapin's $950 "Cozy Cottage" oil on linen taking first place.
"They painted all week and brought them in and were juried this afternoon," Nierman said.
Incoming ArtCenter Manatee President Anne Abgott, who starts her new job Tuesday, liked what she saw of the oils, watercolors and acrylics.
"The quality of the work is right up there," Abgott said. Abgott herself earned an honorable mention for her "White Boat" watercolor.
Artists from as far away as Wisconsin and Rhode Island flew for in for the juried talent competition, which resulted in a brisk line of sales at the cash register.
"It's a celebration of artists," Nierman said.
The display runs through May 3 at ArtCenter Manatee, 209 Ninth St. W. The complete listing of awards can be found online at www.Brandeton.com.