In earlier years, the official artwork for the the Bradenton Blues Festival has featured a stylized image of a faceless solo musician playing an electric guitar.
The just-unveiled art for this year’s poster takes a different approach. It shows three blues musicians, all appearing to be from a past era, maybe the late ’50s or early ’60s. A harmonica player wails in the foreground while guitarists flank him. The figures themselves are drawn in black and white, but the harmonica player is washed in blue, with one guitarist in a brownish-yellow and the other in a pale purple.
The artwork comes from Regan Dunnick, a nationally known artist who teaches illustration at the Ringling College of Art & Design in Sarasota. The artwork will be used on festival posters, T-shirts and other promotional material.
“Like the previous artists, Regan did it pro bono,” said Johnette Isham, the executive director of Realize Bradenton, which puts on the blues festival every year. “When an artist is doing something like this pro bono, you give them some direction, but then you let them have artistic freedom.”
Dunnick’s original artwork will be auctioned at the blues festival. That’s a festival tradition, and every year the auction brings in thousands of dollars for Realize Bradenton’s youth and arts program.
The artwork has always been popular, and some people who have seen Dunnick’s design have said it’s their favorite of all the festival posters, Isham said.
Dunnick’s original artwork will be auctioned at the blues festival. That’s a festival tradition, and every year the auction brings in thousands of dollars for Realize Bradenton’s youth and arts program. Mike Carter, the co-owner of O’Brick’s Irish Pub and Martini Bar, has purchased three of the four previous years’ artwork. Last year he put in the winning bid of $3,500.
The fifth annual Bradenton Blues Festival is set for Dec. 3 on the Bradenton Riverwalk. The lineup includes Ronnie Baker Brooks, the Golden State/Lone Star Revue, Victor Wainwright & the Wildroots, Jason Ricci, Larry McCray, Sugar Ray & the Bluetones, Slam Allen Band, Ilana Katz Katz, Damon Fowler, Ari and the Alibis and Bradenton’s own Doug Deming & the Jewel Tones.
Tickets are on sale now at bradentonbluesfestival.org. They’re $30 in advance and $45 at the gate for general admission. Tickets, T-shirts and limited edition posters are also available at Keeton’s Office & Art Supply. T-shirts are $20 and limited-edition posters are $30.