The 5th Annual Beaches Art Fest is going down this weekend, rain or shine, at the Beaches Museum off Beach Blvd and third and the surrounding streets. This art-centric function will feature nearly 100 top-tier artists and craftsmen from here in North Florida beyond.

Each artist was hand-selected by a jury of art professionals, and according to jury member Lynn Wettach, only the best and most qualified artists are chosen to attend the show.

“We do our best to also make sure that the artists one sell pieces that they’ve made themselves ,” said Wettach. “Some shows allow resale items, but we think it’s important to give artists the opportunity to show thier work to the public.”

See you there. Poster painted by Alan Metzger.

The event is free to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. It will include music, food vendors. The showcased art will include paintings, glasswork, pottery, jewelry, woodworking, photography, metal and sculpture, and art in numerous other mediums.

Aside from producing art shows, Wettach, who is an aritst herself, firmly believes that shows such as these should not onlu expose the local community to fantastic works of art that they normally wouldn’t see, but also bring talented individuals together in a friendly and creative setting.

“There are so many great artists coming here from all areas in the realm of art,” said Wettach. “It’s really important that there are events like this because it allows the artists to interact with the audience in a setting that is much more personable than how most people view art.”

One artist that Wettach was really keen on mentioning was Kentucky-based glass wizard Dan Neil Barnes, who has never been able to make it to the North Florida area due to scheduling conflicts. Barnes’s work is featured all around the country, from Ed Hoy International in Chicago, the Sloan Convention Center in Bowling Green Kentucky, and the infamous Bucky the Badger statue on the campus of the University of Wisconsin.

A Dan Neil Barnes original hanging at Ed Hoy International in Chicago, IL. 
Photo: Dan Neil Barnes

“I’m very excited to finally come to Lynn’s show, and just get to the North Florida area all together,” said Barnes. “Lynn is an artist herself and is a fantastic promoter and director because of it, she really always has the artist’s best interest in mind.”

Another Artist that receives Wettach’s high praise is metalworking mastermind Josh Price. Price enjoys creating sculptures from scrap metal and has been doing it for about 12 years, but it’s something he knew he wanted to do since he was 13.

“When I was 13 I told my mom that I wanted to make stuff like this Don Quixote sculpture I saw at a yard sale, and she was the type that encouraged creativity,” said Price. “She told me I could do anything, and from there the seed was planted.”  

Price definitely sees things different than most, and it shows in his work. He does’t clean the parts before he uses them which gives the pieces a flare that is unique to each individual sculpture. He also uses an abundance of different tools to hand-shape these works of art.

“Hippocampus” by Josh Price.
Photo: Josh Price.

Price was honored to be chosen by the panel to attend this years festival, and he believes the show is a great outdoor experience that features exceptional original artwork from around the country, and according to hime, it’s amazing feeling to be chosen to be apart of it.

“Many patrons don’t realize that you have to submit photos of your artwork and the jurors have many applicants to choose from,” said Price. “It’s always an honor to be selected by the jury.”

Another artist attending this festival is Alan Metzger, the Marine veteran who is also the winner of the coveted poster design contest. The Beaches Art Fest Poster is the trademark takeaway from the event and for the past 4 years has been a huge part of promotion, and overall theme.

Metzger credits his success to his deeply held spiritual beliefs, and about 6 years ago he used his faith to decide to quit his job. Not knowing what to do, a friend had informed him of a commemorative poster contest for the International Polo Club of Palm Beach. He was reluctant to enter, but he did and he ended up winning. That win gave him the boost he so desperately needed, and it’s shaped his life’s path ever since. Winning this poster contest is a nod to where his full-time artistry took root, and something he doesn’t take for granted. 

Metzger capturing the movement of the wave tremendously.

“It’s always a surprise and an honor when a painting is selected for recognition and it is a conformation that I’m using my God given gift,” said Metzger. “Winning that first contest gave me the boost and encouragement I needed, and that there was a market for my painting talent.”

Metzger’s favorite paintings are those that include the ocean, waves and wildlife. Something that Florida as a whole has in leaps and bounds. He believes that catching the action and movement of the waves draws the eye into his painting.

The idea behind his contest-winning-painting came from a photograph that he had taken at a previous art festival. He says this painting that was chosen as the winner is “free” and “leaves a lot to the imagination” for anyone who views it. He also drew the painting in oil, which is quickly becoming Metzger’s favorite medium.

Metzger has a passion for paint, and is a big fan of these art festivals. He loves the interaction that he gets with the audience.

A Metzger original.

“Attending art festivals gives patrons a chance to personally interact with the artists, and that’s the highlight for me,” said Metzger. “Whether it’s an adult, student or child who loves my horses, it’s a thrill to see their faces and hear their comments.”

Metzger will have a tent set-up right next to the museum, so he can autograph posters for customers, and he’ll be displaying about 30 other original paintings.

More Information on the event can be found here. https://www.holidayartshows.com/beachesartfest.html#.W7-yzy-ZPjE