LIVE OAK — From the turnout for Friday’s opening reception to the artwork entered to the backing of its sponsors, the 23rd annual Autumn Artfest was definitely a success.
“All around, it was the most successful one we’ve had,” said Suzanne Marcil, the Artfest chairwoman.
The turnout for the annual fine arts exhibition at the Suwannee River Regional Library’s Live Oak branch, which presents Artfest along with the Live Oak Artists Guild, was also the best in the event’s history. Marcil said there was around 175 people that attended the reception.
“Wow,” she said. “Was it a success or what? We had so many people there.”
Those attending were treated to 79 entries, an increase of nearly 20 from a year ago. Those pieces will remain at the library through Sept. 20 during regular library hours.
Taking the top honor from those entries was Sharon Hester’s colored pencil drawing, “Clarion,” which won Best of Show.
Ashley Crosby won the Judge’s Choice award for her collage, “Notions.”
“You almost succeeded in breaking the judge,” Steven S. Walker wrote in his comments. “No matter how often I review and judge work it never gets easy and this show was no different.”
In addition to the top two honors, there were five awards given for drawings with Marcil winning first place for “Rose Colored Glass.” Also placing were Anda Chance, second, for “Sojourner” and Melissa Miller Nece, third, for “Believe Her.” Marilyn Jones received the merit award for “Seeking Solace” with Myriam R. Krabbe earning honorable mention for “See Me.”
In painting, Brandon Crow won first place for “Murky Waters,” while Pat Otto was second for “Watching Out” with Cynthia Mantini placing third for “Refreshing Assurance.” Robin Popp’s “Suwannee Soldier” was awarded an honorable mention.
J. Robert Wolfe won first place in photography for “School’s out…forever” with Grace Bowman earning honorable mention for “It’s Mating Season.”
The Three-Dimensional winners were Leah Howell’s “Holier than Thou” receiving first and Ann Opgenorth’s “Mother and Child” in second.
“It went really well,” said Jones about this year’s Artfest reception and show. “There were a lot of new artists this year.”
Walker added in his comments that he hopes those that weren’t fortunate enough to win don’t get discouraged because it happens to everyone and has happened to him previously as well.
“This can either defeat you or motivate you…I hope it’s the latter,” he said. “For those of you who have received an award keep working on your craft because there are hungry artists following you.”
Those that received awards will be part of a featured exhibition at the library from Sept. 23 through Oct. 4.