ArtCenter Manatee brings fine art to life in Lakewood Ranch

kmoschella@bradenton.comMarch 16, 2014 

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Among the many fine things that exist at Lakewood Ranch is art, and this weekend, celebrated artists from all over the country are taking part in the 14th Annual Fine Art Festival on Main Street.

From illustration to painting, mixed media, photography, pottery and jewelry, there's something for everyone's artistic taste and style.

Featuring daily artist demonstrations of painting and jewelry, and opportunities to talk one-on-one with the artists themselves, the Fine Art Festival continues Sunday, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., so visitors can browse the colorful exhibits and shop until their hearts content.

Each year, ArtCenter Manatee, a downtown Bradenton artist retreat featuring galleries, an art library, gift shop, classes, and a summer camp for children, serves as the host for the well-known and well-visited event.

"I like the tranquility of Lakewood Ranch, so we always hold it here," said Christina Sutor, special events coordinator for ArtCenter

Manatee. "March is a busy time of year in Florida, and many of our artists have become loyal patrons. They keep coming back because they have a good following here," Sutor said.

In fact, many of the artists have traveled from as far away as Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey to take part in the Lakewood Ranch fine art experience because they like the atmosphere and the quality of its patrons.

John Cheer, a visiting artist from Allentown, Pa., who owns a clay and glass art studio, makes it a point to attend the Fine Art Festival as often as possible.

"Wherever a town or a city has viable arts, that's where it starts. You need artistic vision for the future, and that's why I'm here," said Cheer, who creates interesting sculptured designs that have an oriental flair that reflects his Chinese background.

Admission to the festival is free..

Kathryn Moschella, Lakewood Ranch reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7010. Follow her on Twitter @ MoschellaHerald.

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