Hundreds of artists, art lovers and collectors descended upon the Vero Beach Museum of Art last Friday evening to view and get a first chance at purchasing works of art made by Vero’s talented artists at the opening reception of the 31st annual Art by the Sea Exhibition, presented by the Vero Beach Art Club.
The popular show was chaired by Judy Rixom and Sherry Haaland and ran through Sunday. Thousands of visitors were expected to visit the exhibit over the weekend to peruse the artwork of more than 220 members of the Vero Beach Art Club and the Vero Beach Museum of Art.
“We’ve never missed a show since we’ve been coming down here,” said Armand Langevin, as he and wife Betty examined an intricate drawing. “There’s so much talent in the area.”
This year’s Best in Show was awarded to Joan Earnhart for her spectacular sculpture ‘Music in the Mangroves.’
“It’s a combination of nautical and music,” Earnhart explained. She said the mangrove ‘roots’ were made of copper piano strings hanging from a crab trap from Chesapeake Bay; all set against a blue interior to denote the water. And the wooden sides of the tall piece were made from a piano. “It signifies what you would hear if you were a fish under water and a boat goes by and makes the mangroves sway.”
Another unusual piece was a room screen featuring inimitable New Yorker Magazine covers. “This is all original art I collected from 1970,” said artist Al Gustave, noting that each row contained exceptional covers from the same artist.
“I’m amazed at the variety of artists that we have in this town,” said Ali Furnsinn. “I always say, paradise can’t be any better than this.”
The Vero Beach Art Club was originally formed in 1936 as the Vero Beach Sketch Club, and eventually incorporated in 1954 under its present name. Funds raised at the event benefit the Vero Beach Art Club Scholarship Program, which awards scholarships towards degrees in fine arts to local high school students.
2019 Art by the Sea First-Place Winners
- Mary Mazur Memorial Award for Best in Show:
- Joan Earnhart, Music in the Mangroves
- Acrylic Painting: Rita Barone, Dune Walk
- Film/Digital Photography: J Scott Kelly, Stark Naked Beauty
- Jewelry: David McQuinn, Mr.
- Mixed Media/Fabric: Gregory Ingerson, Illusion
- Oil Painting Noel Rothmayer Award: Stephen Strickland, Triad
- Pastel/Graphics: Charles Kaune, Untitled
- Sculpture/3D: George Beckman, Galactic Dreamer
- Watercolor Painting: Debby Marriott, Senora Habana