The 2021 Inverness Festival of the Arts, a fine art show, is returning to downtown this year to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary. The Festival of the Arts is the longest-running juried art festival in Citrus County, FL. Since 1971, it has been a beacon of fine arts in the area. The festival brings thousands to downtown Inverness every year. This two-day festival is a signature event for the city and brings fine artists to historic downtown for visitors to explore and purchase art. This year’s festival, just like every year, is free and open to the public.
Judges Nan Smith and Daniel Stepp, both artists and professors from Gainesville, Florida will determine which of the 50 artists juried into this year’s show will win the 8 awards totaling $6,5000. Last year’s Best in Show winner and local artist, Jordan Shapot will be back to defend his title. Jordan’s category is painting but awards are open to any medium. Visitors to the show will see artists who work in clay, digital art, drawing, fiber, jewelry, metal, mixed media, photography, sculpture, watercolor, and wood.
The festival committee is looking forward to welcoming back past festival artists as well as newcomers. Florida wildlife artists and 10 time show veteran, Peter Gerbert said “Participating in this show since 2010, it has become a favorite. Winning several nice awards and a few Purchase Awards from Stumpknockers, I ended up with some framed prints in the restaurant! If I have a good day at the show, I treat myself to a crab leg dinner there!” He said is he looking forward to seeing is regular collectors again and that many of them have become good friends over the years. Coming all the way from Texas to be in the show is acrylic painter, Richard Franklin. This is Franklin’s first time in the show. When asked about why he applied for the show, Franklin said, “I really appreciate that the show is free and open to the public. I really love when art is open and available to everyone.”
Local arts’ groups will be a part of the festival this year including Rainbow Springs Art, The Valerie Players, and the Citrus Watercolor Society. There will also be snacks to round out the festival experience by Maw n Paw’s Ole Time Treats, D’s Nuts, InVibe, and Charlie’s Creamery and Sweets. Entrainment experiences will be taking place both outside and inside the Valerie Theatre. Outside on the plaza will be Cal Morris on Saturday and Billy Buchanan on Sunday. Inside the theatre will be “Experience Art” on Saturday and animation by the Lecanto School for the Arts on Sunday. All Citrus County Schools have the opportunity to display their work in the School Zone tent for the entire festival.
Attendees to the festival will be able to see a brand new mural being painted live. Just approved by City Council on October 19, 2021, the mural features bikers on the trail, the water tower, the Old Courthouse, and a bass jumping from the lake. This is the first project in the City’s new Public Art program. The mural will go up on the west wall of Coach’s Pub and Eatery. Artist Christian Stanley will be on hand to chat with festival goers who would like to know more about the mural or the process.
All artists and visitors are encouraged to follow the CDC's guidelines at the time of the festival. We encourage everyone to wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and to cover coughs and sneezes. Artists are encouraged to have hand sanitizer available in their booths and to routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects at their booths.
The festival committee would like to thank its sponsors the Law Office of Melisa L Militello, P.A. and the Central Motel.
More information at InvernessFestivaloftheArts.com
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