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Art association's show a huge success

February 20, 2019
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

Traffic was backed up farther than usual last weekend entering Matlacha due to the annual Pine Island Art Show and Sale held at the Community Building in Matlacha Park from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The PIAA member show showcases current work of many talented Florida artists many of them on Pine Island and Matlacha. There were 70 artists with works in acrylic, pastel, oil and watercolor and drawings large and small, all matted, framed and ready to hang in your home. There were Florida landscapes, seascapes, flowers, wildlife, beach scenes, boats and sunsets.

Best in Show was won by Beth Blewett. Her painting, "The Violin Lesson," is what Blewett calls a "human interest painting."

Article Photos

Beth Blewett with Best in Show “The Violin Lesson.'


"I've been coming to Pine Island / Matlacha for over 10 years now and living here about three years," Blewett said. "All the years I was working as a biologist I always enjoyed drawing but never had the time to paint."

Once retired and moving from Indianapolis to Pine Island, Blewett found the time and inspiration to paint.

"There are always subjects to paint in Florida," Blewett said. "There are so many different kinds of birds, seascapes, sunrises and sunsets. But then I like to step aside and tell a story about real people these are the human interest stories I like to tell. This story is about a little boy, probably just starting out playing the violin."

Blewett also painted the art association poster of three kayaks on a beach.

"To me it says Southwest Florida," Blewett said.

First Place Oil was won by Sissy Blakslee.

"The first painting I did was painting cheese boxes in Wisconsin," Blakslee said. "Most people don't know what a cheese box is. They are wooden boxes made to size for different cheeses. I would stencil them with farm scenes and Wisconsin scenes and hand paint them and sold them at art fairs around Wisconsin and the Chicago area."

"I usually paint a lot of Florida birds and I just wanted to paint something different," Blakslee said. "With this painting I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and paint something with a little more color. Once I got started I couldn't stop. I'm very pleased with the result."

The mission of the PIAA "is to promote interest in art and provide instruction in the arts for our members and the surrounding communities. We are organized for charitable and educational purposes, including providing art for the local 'After School' programs and grants to local schools to supplement their art classes for students. Pine Island Art Association is a non-profit 501c(3) organization, run solely by volunteers."

Sponsors of the 2019 show included Bert's Bar and Grill, Bert's Pine Bay Gallery, Blue Dog Cafe, Frame Gallery & Gifts, Island Visions Art & Curiosity, Olde Fish House Marina, Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce, Micelli's Restaurant, Perfect Cup, Wildchild Gallery, Traders Hitching Post, Pizza Bella, The Happenings and Yucatan Waterfront Bar & Grill.

Award winners
1st placeThe Shy OneSissy Blakslee
2nd placeSilence of the LambsLinnea Doden
3rd placePacific CoastLisa Grinter
1st placeHave You HeardLyn Wightman
2nd placeBird of Paradise #2Robert Ford
3rd placeSachi's FeetFran Yorkston
1st placeDragonfly on LapelZan Lombardo
2nd place19th HoleBarbara Benigni
3rd placeMy MagnoliasJan Werdin
1st placeLake Michigan ShoreTom Werdin
2nd placeBarbaraLinnea Doden
3rd placeDijon Area VinesTom Werdin
Drawing Pen & Ink
1st placeGentle GiantCarol Sands
2nd placeLife is JustCarol Sands
3rd placeEbony and IvoryElaine Myers
Mixed Media
1st placeJourneyPatty Sole
2nd placeZingJan Werdin
3rd placeHere's Looking at YouShirley Glenn
Small World
1st placeFantasia ISkip Weber
2nd placeDrama QueenJan Werdin
3rd placeThe Richelieu of NOLAJack Lovell



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