The 2016 ROWITA Awards

The St. Johns Cultural Council held the eighth annual ROWITA Celebration Ceremony on March 13 at 5:00p.m. at the Limelight Theatre located at 11 Old Mission Avenue.

The free event was an evening of celebration and recognition of the seven women chosen to receive the 2016 Dr. Gail Pflaster ROWITA Award for their achievements and contributions to the arts in St. Johns County. The winners of the Jr. ROWITA Fellowships were also recognized (Cassia Wang). A short reception followed the program.

The 2016 honorees are Elyse Brady, Manila Clough, Caren Goldman, Jan Tomlinson Master, JoAnn Nance, Rosamond Parrish and Shirley Williams-Collins.

Joe Lemmon and His Lovely Pieces of Very Special Wood

Joe Lemmon uses wood to make beautiful pieces of furniture. He uses wood the that would otherwise end up as garbage, wood that sometimes is 100’s of years old, dipped in history, and sadly discarded from demolition sites. Once he gets a hold of it, he molds that wood into these wonderful pieces that you see here. First Coast.TV got a chance to speak to him, while opening for the first time the doors of his small showroom on 233 West King Street, St Augustine, FL. We wish him all the luck in the world.

Compassion Through the Eyes of Children / Phase II

Children gathered at the St Augustine Amphitheater to create art on the panels of a 15 foot Obelisk, these children came from different organizations, such as, Betty Griffin Center, The Players Championship Boys and Girls Club, Kids Safe Zone, St. Augustine Youth Services, St. Paul School of Excellence, The Arc of St. Johns, the Academy of Business and Leadership Education and St. Augustine Public Montessori School.

Last year’s project was a mix of work from local students (28 obelisks) and another 25 obelisks — at 8.5 feet tall — designed by area artists and later showcased at Flagler College’s Crisp-Ellert Art Museum. One of the student pieces was even chosen as the official gift of the City of St. Augustine to King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain during their September visit.

The goal of this year’s project, according to Compassionate St. Augustine, is to “engage children from diverse backgrounds and with wide-ranging aptitudes and exceptionalities in discussions about the intrinsic values of the 1812 Spanish Constitution Obelisk on St. Augustine’s public square.”

Caren Goldman, executive director of Compassionate St. Augustine, said the collaboration of children with such different backgrounds made for an impressive piece of art.

In addition to adding to the inclusiveness of the work, the other main goal for phase two was to make it a model for other cities to copy. It wouldn’t necessarily be an obelisk art project but a similar art project that fits with the history and character of that community.

The Dressing of the Palms on Vilano Beach

Vilano Beach’s Dressing of the Palms offers an unusual holiday lights display with a special St. Augustine-style quirky charm.

Artists of all kinds — residents, schools, business groups and community organizations — show off their artistic skills and imagination as they decorate the 200 palm trees that line the streets of Vilano Beach’s Town Center. The decorating period rans from October 31 until November 22, 2015. The trees will remain decorated through the end of the year 2015. First Coast.TV took photos of some these lovely palms and other photos were provided by Carol Ann Sacha Martin.

Prizes for the best decorated palms were awarded December 5th  at the first Saturday Vilano Beach Sunset Celebration.

For more info go to www.VilanoBeachFL.com

The Art & Craft Festival

More than 150 artists from around the USA were juried into this Thanksgiving Weekend art festival that took place at Francis Field behind the St. Augustine Downtown Historic Parking Facility located at 10 West Castillo Drive in St. Augustine. This premier outdoor art fair is a Thanksgiving tradition that attracted thousands of visitors, discerning art collectors and savvy holiday shoppers. The event helps support the Art Association programs, while animating the local arts scene and boosting the economy of the nation’s oldest city. The festival was sponsored by the St. Augustine Art Association and took place Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

St Augustine at 450 and in Black & White

The exhibit is on display in the Rotunda Gallery                                                                              500 San Sebastian View Street
St. Augustine, FL

November 3, 2015-January 21, 2016

Crealdé’s newest documentary project celebrates the oldest city in the United States. Ten photographers captured the oldest city in the nation on the occasion of its 450th anniversary, exploring St. Augustine’s history, preservation efforts and place as a tourist destination. Led by Peter Schreyer and Sherri Bunye, a master class produced the project from January to April 2015. Featured photographers: Laura Barthle, Sherri Bunye, Vaughn Dunham, Dennis James, Holly Manus, Jennifer Pereira, Marsee Perkins, Peter Schreyer, Cynthia Slaughter and Kucku Varghese.

From Peter Schreyer, Senior Faculty in Photography and Executive Director of Crealdé School of Art:  
The idea to do this project first came to me when touring the beautiful El Galeón, an exact reproduction of Ponce de Leon’s ship handmade in Spain, docked in the marina of St. Augustine almost two years ago. I immediately texted my colleague Sherri Bunye and announced the idea, and asked her to partner on this new class project for Crealdé. Of course, she enthusiastically said “yes,” and a few weeks later we started planning for this new master class in documentary photography. It was an obvious choice for a new Crealdé project. When were we ever going to geographically be so close to another such important historical milestone – and such a visually beautiful one!

The exhibit is on display in the Rotunda Gallery                                                                              500 San Sebastian View Street
St. Augustine, FL

Between January and April 2015, Sherri and I had the pleasure to work with a group of eight advanced Crealdé student photographers to create and produce this exciting project. Before the start of the on-site fieldwork in St. Augustine, the participants learned about the important history of documentary photography, toured local historical archives and learned about project planning and caption writing for a contemporary documentary project. Our objectives were to capture in classical black-and-white images and accompanying oral histories, the city of St. Augustine as a living historic community, a model for historic preservation, a tourist destination, college town and home to a diverse population. Students were assigned specific topics, but also were given the freedom to add their own themes to the project.

During numerous field sessions, day trips and overnight stays in St. Augustine, all of us grew closer to this beautiful city, and discovered many fascinating elements of its history and most recent challenges.

The exhibit is on display in the Rotunda Gallery                                                                              500 San Sebastian View Street
St. Augustine, FL

November 3, 2015-January 21, 2016

Mende Film & Cultural Arts Festival 2015

As the City of St. Augustine celebrates it’s 450th Anniversary the Gullah Geechee Group hosted the 1st Mende Culture and Film Festival. This festival is to honor those unique Africans known as Gullah Geechee who settled on the shores of St Augustine in 1565 and to highlight those Gullah Geechee many of whom self emancipated to St. Augustine 150 years before the Civil War settled communities such as Fort Mose (1738) and Lincolnville and Armstrong (1866), after the Civil War. These 3 communities are in St. Johns County, Florida. The festival is being held in October to coincide with Governor Scott’s Gubernatorial Gullah Geechee Proclamation, which the Governor issues every October and has for the last 4 years highlighting the rich history and culture of these unique Africans known as Gullah Geechee who settled many Maroons communities and established some of the first militias protecting La Florida.
The festival had the Gechee Gullah Ring Shouters perform, basket weaving and other arts. Many films related to the Mende topic were showed to a packed audience. The festival continues in Miami & Ft Lauderdale. FL in January 2016.

For more info go to www.mendefilmfest.org

2nd Annual Haunted Masquerade Art Show

Show presented by Raven Promotions and Social Media & Bleeding Tree Entertainment!

Following up last years success of the Haunted Masquerade Art Show and this years first Old City Steam Art Show, we have decided to keep the art ball rolling!

People put on their masks and devious dresses for a night of thrills.

It was held at DOS Coffee & Wine on Saturday, October 24th as the Halloween season dons an air of class and artistry. This semi-formal masquerade event featured a gallery of art by local artists showing their ability to create twisted elegance.

Obelisk Tour / Part 2

Compassionate St. Augustine’s OBELISK ART 450 Tour of Compassion is an International Public Art Exhibition Interpreting Freedom, Democracy, Human Rights and Compassion in the Nation’s Oldest City.

25 renowned artists who exhibit regionally, nationally and internationally were selected to create an artwork on the blank canvas of an 8.5-foot tall obelisk replica of the Monumento a la Constitucion on St. Augustine’s Plaza de la Constitucion.

First Coast.TV went to visit all 25 Obelisks at their present location, as they are being exhibited through out the city from Oct. 2nd/2014 thru Jan. 31st/2016. In part 1 we visited 12 Obelisks, and now in part 2 we visited the other 13.

The Obelisk Tour / Part 1

Compassionate St. Augustine’s OBELISK ART 450 Tour of Compassion is an International Public Art Exhibition Interpreting Freedom, Democracy, Human Rights and Compassion in the Nation’s Oldest City.

25 renowned artists who exhibit regionally, nationally and internationally were selected to create an artwork on the blank canvas of an 8.5-foot tall obelisk replica of the Monumento a la Constitucion on St. Augustine’s Plaza de la Constitucion.  

First Coast.TV went to visit all 25 Obelisks at their present location, as they are being exhibited through out the city from Oct. 2nd/2014 thru Jan. 31st/2016. In part 1 we visited 12 Obelisk, and hope to visit the other 13 in part 2.