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    Watercolorist keen on Dunedin art show

    "It keeps me close to (the city's) people,'' Dunedin artist Mary Silvia says of the annual festival in her hometown.

    photo
    [Times photo: Jim Damaske]
    Dunedin artist Mary Silvia will be showing her work at the 5th annual Downtown Dunedin Street Art Festival Saturday and Sunday.

    By EILEEN SCHULTE
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published January 11, 2002


    "It keeps me close to (the city's) people," Dunedin artist Mary Silvia says of the annual festival in her hometown.

    DUNEDIN -- The 5th annual Downtown Dunedin Street Art Festival promises to have everything: more than 100 artists, Kettle Korn, the Health Hut, a steel drummer and a sitarist. But it has only one artist who actually lives in Dunedin.

    She is Mary Silvia, who paints flowers in watercolor at her home studio.

    "I love doing art festivals close to home," said Silvia, who has been a Dunedin resident for 10 years. "It keeps me close to (the city's) people."

    When she is not painting or selling her work at art shows, Silvia, 56, works as an analyst for Nielsen Media Research in Dunedin, a job she has held for the past eight years.

    She has been painting for 25 years, focusing mainly on flowers like roses and magnolias. She said she is looking forward to the Dunedin show because last year there was "a lot of foot traffic."

    At least 50,000 people a year attend the show, said Michelle Gaudet, vice president of public relations for Howard Alan Events, the company that produces it.

    "It's definitely one of our largest shows and one of our better shows," said Gaudet. "It's a great location, and a variety of mediums are represented."

    Handmade jewelry, photography, acrylic paintings, pottery, stained glass, mixed media, 3-D glass and wood sculptures are among the offerings.

    The artists come from New York, Colorado, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Venice, Coral Gables, Lakeland and Palm Harbor.

    They come because "our shows are outdoor shows," said Jeanette Rodriguez, community relations director for Howard Alan Events.

    Gaudet said everything would be fine as long as the weather holds.

    "It's a great way to spend the day," she said. "The art, the music . . . it's great."

    If you go:

    The 5th annual Downtown Dunedin Street Art Festival featuring food, entertainment and more than 100 artists, will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday along Main Street in Dunedin. Admission is free.

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