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Art Annual show brings more awe

Fifty artists enter works in the Holiday display.

By BARBARA L. FREDRICKSEN
Published June 1, 2007


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A new format for the annual open show of works by artists in and around Pasco County, Art Annual 2007, has resulted in what is, arguably, the overall highest-quality exhibit in the show's 13-year history.

"Instead of dividing the categories into 'high school, ' 'amateur' and 'professional,' we have different categories of media," said Ann Larsen, executive director of the Pasco Arts Council. This means that artists of all ages could enter digital art, wood carvings, drawings, pastels, clay, fiber, glass, mixed media, painting, photography and sculpture.

Fifty artists entered their best in the exhibit, which opens today.

"The show is more balanced than before, " Larsen said. "We have more three-dimensional, more oils, more photography."

It's a manageable feast for the eyes, starting in the center's entry hall with Wesley Chapel resident Lloyd Johnson's mesmerizing Nebula, an aluminum and fused glass work that is flat but appears to be infinitely deep, similar to a hologram.

Last year's first-place amateur winner, Spring Hill resident Jack Hodge, has a large photo of a bee on a bright yellow flower, Bee Leave Me, at the end of the hall near the Gallery 2 entrance.

The 2006 winner in the professional division, Theresa Villani of Palm Harbor, has entered an assembled wood collage with fragments of mirror attached in random patterns, Being Seen, and has also allowed the center to play a CD of her performance on the cello.

Striking works by residents of Bayonet Point, Port Richey, Hudson, New Port Richey, Elfers, Trinity and Tarpon Springs keep the high quality and variety set by the former winners.

Arlene Richardson, whose paintings of the Maine coastline were shown in the recent "Wicked Good Art" show, entered a painting of a Florida water view, Sunset at the Fishing Pier.

Suzanna Holland of Port Richey entered Searching, a collage of natural reeds, straw and grasses folded and twisted to form a wading bird in a pond. Hudson painter Ralph Butler's Back of the Suwannee, an acrylic on gessoed board, is so meticulously detailed that it looks like a luminous photograph.

Suzanne Natzke, who lives in Trinity, submitted Three Gents on a Bench, a warm and appealing watercolor. Bayonet Point artist June Benson's acrylic, Blue, is an underwater scene of drifting flowers and fronds, lightly anchored by rolling seashells.

One of the most arresting works is by Land O'Lakes photographer Gordon Engebretson, who pulled and distorted a photo of a yellow and orange canna lily, surrounded it with a burst of color, mounted it on a flexible board, then bent it to make Canna Lily in Hyperdrive.

Prices for art in the show go from $30 for Patricia Ritter's macro photograph Just Waiting Bee to $3, 000 for Steve Corrado's Queen of Fire, a mixed-media sculpture.

If you go

Art Annual 2007

Where: Pasco Arts Council's art center, 5744 Moog Road, Holiday.

When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, through Aug. 3. An awards reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. June 8 at the center.

Cost: Free.

[Last modified June 1, 2007, 00:41:30]


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