Mandarin Arts Festival

It’s Easter weekend and that means it’s time for the Mandarin Art Festival. The festival is on the Mandarin Community Center grounds, which is only a few miles from here, so we generally stop by each year.

© Ed Malesky - Mandarin Arts Festival 2011

I guess the economy is hitting the art festival market since there were fewer artists here than in the past. However, there was still a good showing that made it worthwhile coming.

It was a really hot day, but with a little breeze blowing it wasn’t too bad. As we walked around, I was pretty surprised that there didn’t seem to be any overlap with the artists that participated in the Jacksonville Fine Arts Festival two weeks ago. There were also a number of “regulars” that have done this festival in the past. There was a nice selection of paintings, glass, sculpture and some other interesting booths.

They also help and Children’s Art Show in the Community Center. All the local grade schools participated and it was fun to see all the work the kid’s offered up.

© Ed Malesky - Children's Art Show display


Next weekend The Arts Center is hosting the 4th annual Children’s Show called Wishes and Dreams. I hope some of these kids entered because some of them really showed some talent.

Since there have been some wood based artists here in the past, I went looking around to see what kind of wooden items were here this year and whether then was anyone doing woodturning. No woodturners, but there were a few people making wood items.

One of the returning artists was Richard McCollum or White Forest Spoons. I had met Richard when the Turning Arts Group participated in the Ponte Vedra Arts Festival a few years ago. He makes such wonderful and useful things for the kitchen.

© Ed Malesky - White Forest Spoons

Gary Smith also had his bandsawn boxes there again. Most of his boxed are made from camphor with unique grain patterns.

© Ed Malesky - Bandsawn Boxes

One new artist this year, at least for me, was Gyongyi Vigh. Gyongi is a Hungarian artist that now lives in Sarasota and specializes in pyrography. Since I have spent the last several days doing pyrography on my second Chinese Flowers hollowform. I had a lot of interest in her work.

© Ed Malesky - Gyongyi Vigh Pyrography

She had some very nice work on display and I’ll look forward to seeing her in the future.

I hope the art market picks up again next year. This is a good show that I want to see expand. This is the 43rd annual festival and we’ve been attending since we arrived in Florida in 1981. It was definitely worth a quick trip today.

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