Art fans hunt for clues during Sebastian River Art Club treasure hunt

SEBASTIAN – Blustery winds and a chill that could cut through jackets may have kept some art lovers from Riverview Park in Sebastian on Saturday – but several others refused to allow the weather to deter them from their hunt for treasure.

“If it’s not snowing, if it’s not raining, I’m happy,” artist Judy McNamara said while hunkered down in her art tent during the third annual Sebastian River Art Club Treasure Hunt.  

Those seeking the treasure – one of six donated pieces of art from club members – traveled from booth to booth, examining the art work and seeking the “clue.”

Each artisan had taped a clue – “Clue = ____” with a different word – somewhere amongst the artwork.

Two treasure hunters, Carolyn Horkay, of Georgia, and her friend, Pat Lynch, of Vero Beach, braved the chilly weather for the chance to win a piece of art.

“It’s still colder up there,” Horkay said of the weather in Georgia.

The friends came out to the park to get some fresh air and enjoy the sunshine while hunting for the clues.

By the end of their hunt, they had collected every clue and earned the chance to vie for one of the three remaining pieces – a photograph of a Sebastian sunrise and two paintings – one a scenic of palm trees and the water and another of a farmhouse.

After little debate, it was decided that Horkay would be the one to take the chance, feeling around inside a booty filled with variously sized “pieces of eight” – a mix of coin currency.

Using both hands, Horkay felt around for potential candidates, using her other hand to pinch them through the thick sock. After a couple minutes, she thought she had it – an Australian coin, gold in color.

She selected Sebastian River Art Club member Marlene Mayfield’s photograph of the Sebastian sunrise.

“It’s a very nice sky,” Horkay said.

Mayfield came over to the booth and congratualted Horkay and Lynch on winning. She explained to them that the photo was taken right outside her front door.

“It was an incredible sky,” Mayfield said.

Sebastian River Art Club President Richard Gillmor said that the annual Treasure Hunt started out as a way to draw art enthusiasts to the shows and take a closer look at the members’ work.

“It was kind of a gimmick,” he said, explaining that oftentimes, visitors will stroll around the park looking, but not really seeing.

“This gets them off the sidewalk,” Gillmor said.

Fellow artists agreed that the treasure hunt – when the weather’s warmer – does attract a crowd.

Lee G. Smith, a 9-year member, said that the hunt has helped to expose more people to the clubs’ work, though that doesn’t always translate into sales.

For fellow member Kathy Costa, it isn’t always about the sale – but the connection with visitors.

“It’s fun talking to them,” Costa said of the people who stop by to see her watercolors. “I enjoy it when the little kids come.”

She said last year, several kids participated in the treasure hunt, and though they were searching for the hidden clues, they were also really looking at the art.

The Sebastian River Art Club holds an art show in Riverview Park on the second Saturday of the month.

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