SEBRING, Fla. (Nov. 9, 2016) – Nearly 80 established and emerging fine artists and crafters from the U.S. participated in one of Florida’s longest consecutive running art festivals in historic downtown Sebring on Nov. 5-6. With more than $6,000 in cash awards for juried artists and scholarships for emerging artists, the 50th Annual Highlands Fine Arts Festival, presented by Duke Energy, kicked off the holiday gift-buying season with the area’s most popular art event. In addition to the Circle of Artists, the Festival included the Emerging Artist category; Children’s Street & Tent, Culinary Street and the new Chamber of Commerce Street; live music and kids art & craft activities.
Original works and limited editions of fine art in all media, including ceramics, fiber, glass, jewelry, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, wood, and mixed media were on display and available for purchase and judging. Ann Larsen, director of the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art at St. Petersburg College, served as this year’s Festival Judge.
Hobby Campbell, a Sebring cowboy and cowboy artist, won Best in Show above artists from around the state and country. The judge said she felt like she walked onto a cattle ranch when she walked into his booth. Artists were judged both on quality of their art and booth presentation.
The following winners were announced and presented with a ribbon and cash awards during the Festival:
- Best in Show ($2,000): Hobby Campbell of Sebring, FL – acrylic painting
- Judge’s Choice ($400): Bottery Art of Ft. Lauderdale, FL – leather goods
- 2D Category: 1st Place ($700): John Cheng of Corum, NY – Drawing & Watercolor; 2nd Place ($400): Anthony Moore of Tampa, FL -2D Graphics; 3rd Place ($200): Jinsheng Song of Fort McCoy, FL – Oil Painting.
- 3D Category: 1st Place ($700): Arthur Mulkey of Sebring, FL – mixed media; 2nd Place ($400): Carl Weeks of Wauchula, FL – wood works; 3rd Place ($200): DG Stern of Orlando, FL – baskets.
- People’s Choice ($100): Cindy Rose of Sebring, FL – photography.
- Emerging Artists: Theo Juliano, a student at Sebring High School (Pottery), and Sonnimar Cabrera, a student at Avon Park High School (Sculpture) were the Emerging Artist winners. Each Emerging Artist won a $500 scholarship courtesy of the Jarrett Family Foundation. The South Florida State College (SFSC) Foundation will match each scholarship with an additional $500 if the student attends SFSC.
Thank you to this year’s Festival sponsors:
Presenting Sponsor: Duke Energy
Media Sponsor: Highlands News-Sun
Platinum Sponsors: Sebring CRA & Florida Department of Cultural Affairs
Gold Sponsors: Alan Jay Auto Network, Florida Hospital & City of Sebring
Silver Sponsors: Annett Bus Lines, The Palms of Sebring, South Florida State College, Heartland Real Estate Corp, Taylor Oil Co, Inc., Glades Electric Cooperative, Inc., Turner Furniture Company, Inc., Walmart, Publix Charities, Jarrett Family Foundation, John Palmer Electric, Palmer Ace Hardware & Wauchula State Bank
Bronze Sponsors: Heacock Insurance Group, Inc., Polston Engineering , Inc., Millers Central Air Inc., Gulf Coast Supply & Mfg., Laye’s Tire Service, Eye Specialists of Mid-Florida, Bagwell Lumber & Sherwin Williams
Hotel Sponsor: Inn on the Lakes
In-Kind Sponsors: PS Signs, Firehouse Billboards and Frames & Images