Hot Works Estero Fine Art Show was held on November 18 and 19 – at its new location – Gulf Coast Town Center. Sponsored by Institute for the Arts & Education, the associated 501c3 non-profit arm, seventeen different professional artists received awards. As part of his/her award, each winning artist received a beautiful, two-foot-long ribbon to display in his/her booth the entire weekend and is juried into the show for November 17 & 18, 2018.

There were two Award of Mastery/Best of Show winners:

  • Dan Neil Barnes, Glass, Georgetown, KY
  • Jimmy and Connie Langford, Metal, Cumming, GA

Five Awards of Excellence were conferred:

  1. Rosa Chavez, Painting, Dos Palos, CA
  2. Michael Costello, Sculpture and Painting, Willis, VA
  3. Marvin ‘Murf’ Murphy, Painting, Weston, FL
  4. Jo Nelson, Mixed Media, Hastings, NE
  5. Sip-Tshun Ng, Mixed Media, Pompano Beach, FL

There were ten Awards of Distinction:

  1. Tim Peters, Clay, Winter Haven, FL
  2. Paula Mae Green, Batik, Pompano Beach, FL
  3. Werner Holzbaur, Wood, Bradenton, FL
  4. Kevin Kichar, Fiber, Fort Lauderdale, FL
  5. Zaki Knapen, Mixed Media, Antwerp, Belgium
  6. Svetlana Kuznets, Fiber, Cape Coral, FL
  7. Stan & Debbie Megdall, Glass, West Bloomfield, MI
  8. Cesar Nogueira, Sculpture, Ocala, FL
  9. Michael Solomon, Painting, Rockaway Park, NY
  10. Mark & Lee Etta Van de Bogart, Jewelry, Bronson, FL

Local art professional Marianne Megela judged the show. Megela boasts an impressive pedigree when it comes to evaluating art show talent. Between 2006 and 2014, she planned and executed six local art shows and five national outdoor festivals for the Naples Art Association as its Festival Director. Prior to that, Marianne worked as volunteer Show Chairperson for Naples Artcrafters for eight years. But Megela is equally conversant with the artists’ side of the art festival equation. Following her graduation from Akron University in 1990 with a degree in art, she and her husband participated in hundreds of local and national art shows, traveling to 62 cities in 17 states. These became her classroom, where she learned through observation and inquiry the essentials necessary to a successful art show. Today, Megela works at The Sweet Art Gallery as a business consultant and sales representative.

Best of Show winner Dan Neil Barnes has built a reputation for thoughtfully-designed and intricately-wrought works that combine vibrantly colored stained and fused glass with soldered bronze, copper, aluminum and other metallic accents. Barnes’ work moves the millennial-old craft of stained glass into a new creative art form – one that pushes the idea of glass in art to a whole new level. The hundreds of small stained and fused glass squares he incorporates into his three-dimensional structures imbue them with a kinetic quality. They undulate, flow and change direction and intensity as they respond to light and the movement of the viewer, almost as if they were alive and sentient.

Jimmy and Connie Langford, also top prize winners, employ a cadre of dyes, acids and other chemicals to tint the metal (primarily stainless steel) that they weld into a variety of minimalist, low-relief contemporary wall designs. Although based in Georgia, the Langford’s maintain places with workshops in both central Florida and Michigan in order to be closer to the art shows in which they participate each season. Interestingly, neither hail from an art education or background. Jimmy was a musician who quips that he became too old to rock and roll. Connie has graduated from garden to studio art after nearly twenty years in the field.

The Estero Fine Art Show returns to the Gulf Coast Town Center on January 6 & 7, 2018. Voted in the top 100 art shows in America three years in a row, this top-notch fine art and fine craft event brings to southwest Florida new original paintings, drawings, pastels, photography, ceramics, clay, glass, sculpture, wood working and carvings, fiber art and art jewelry from the ateliers, studios and workshops of some 140 local and internationally-acclaimed artists. All are present throughout the two-day event and eager to answer questions about his/her work and inspiration. Live art demonstrations afford numerous opportunities for patrons to witness first-hand the various processes that the artists’ go through and the techniques they employ in order to create high-quality artworks in his/her chosen medium.

The Estero Fine Art Shows are produced by Hot Works, LLC, which also produces the award-winning Orchard Lake Fine Art Show in West Bloomfield, Michigan and Boca Raton Fine Art Show in downtown Boca Raton. More info www.hotworks.org or www.facebook.com/hotworksartshows