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HomeBusiness & CommunityTake an Art & Wine Stroll, to make you smile

Take an Art & Wine Stroll, to make you smile

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An evening of festive art appreciation will be offered at the Art & Wine Stroll, a presentation of the Brooksville Main Street Program and the Hernando County Fine Arts Council Thursday, Nov. 11th, 4 pm – 8 pm in Historic Downtown Brooksville.

“The Brooksville Main Street Program welcomes you to come walk along the beautiful streets of Historic Downtown Brooksville and enjoy an evening of art appreciation,” reads an event description. “Several of our downtown businesses will offer a meet and greet opportunity while also providing an opportunity to highlight a collection of Hernando County artists. All event proceeds go to benefit the Brooksville Main Street Program and its mission to revitalize Historic Downtown Brooksville.”

As guests stroll the streets of downtown, they will enjoy a deluxe presentation of sample artwork from the third round of Brooksville Main Street and the Hernando Fine Arts Council’s Mobile Mini Murals program. This mini mural project “aims to enhance the value of downtown Brooksville, promote quality artwork, cause viewer interaction, provoke thought, entertain, and excite visitors through the work of public art.” For this phase of the project, every mural revolved around the theme of “Make Me Smile.” As they peruse the murals, guests then can venture inside local businesses to see artists at work–demonstrating their creative techniques and displaying the beautiful results. All while sipping–enjoying fine wines and appetizers at each location.

“Art will be featured inside and outside,” said Natalie Kahler, Executive Director of Brooksville Main Street. “Inside, you can watch artists create. You can see the creative process.”

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Allisa Babor, Media Contact of the Hernando County Arts Council, says that a wide variety of media will be featured at this event.

“The Art & Wine Stroll showcases the work of 10 local artists throughout various businesses downtown. Attendees will start at the courthouse and walk around town, meeting artists along the way!” she said. “Each location features a new artist with multiple media types like photography, watercolor, oils, and mixed media. We hope to see you there!”

Tickets are $25 per person and include a commemorative cup, wine, and appetizers at each location. Purchase tickets at https://bit.ly/38QdWGF

The featured artists at The Art and Wine Stroll will be Renata Villemaire (murals), Sonny Vergara (photography), Lyn Bechtel (watercolors), Dean Napp (Lumanation), Lee Middleton (paints), Alberto Stephenson (mixed media), and Lynn Shaffer (mural artist).

Vergara, about to release the photography book “FLORIDA. –  Images of natural Florida … and more,” has a passion for art.

“If humans lacked passion there would be no art because art is the purest expression of passion within a human. It is passion that fuels artistic creativity whether it be anger, joy, curiosity, fear, hate, love or any other feeling a human can experience,” he said. “And, the expression of artistic passion by an artist is not necessarily to gain riches and fame though many times it can be limited by the absence of it. So, if it were not for being able to show one’s work and sense the impact it might have on others, the life of artists could be lonely and without confidence that their work is relevant. Relevance is the key, the food that feeds artists and motivates them to try again, to do something different or more difficult, to be courageous in finding new ways to express what’s inside of them.”

Artists also thrive, Vergara said, on the opportunity to display their art in a public forum.

“So, when a community says it wants to see their unique work and create opportunities for others to see and react to it, it is so very important,” he said. “And, if someone finds that work so compelling they must have it on their wall or in their garden or simply to own it, the artist becomes complete. He or she becomes relevant in fact. This is why art strolls are important. They provide an opportunity for artistic relevance and the hard and sometimes expensive work of artists worth the effort. Thank you, Brooksville Main Street, the Hernando County Fine Arts Council, and those who so graciously opened their doors for artists to display their work. May there be more, more often!”

Lynn Shaffer feels that the art stroll is a perfect venue for the work of local artists.

“I began painting about a year and a half ago. One of the most difficult aspects of doing business in the art world is finding venues that allow your art to be seen. I belong to the Tarpon Art Guild which has been an amazing experience, but not everyone is familiar with the guild or the location may not be convenient for some,” she said. “Thats why I love events like the Brooksville Art stroll. It gives artists like myself an opportunity to show my work to a new audience. Besides selling some of my work, I have also met people who would prefer to have a custom piece done for them. I’ve also been referred to others from a particular show. The possibilities are endless and always exciting!”

Dean Napp shares that he will be stationed at the athletics building for the Art Stroll.

“I design and engrave wood cut art and customer photo on wood,” he said.

Lyn Bechtel, showing at Treasures of the Heart, is also eager to get out and share her artistic creations.

“During the pandemic, I kept my sanity by painting and painting . . .  I am now overwhelmed with paintings and with Galleries now just opening again, the art shows just beginning again,” said Bechtel. “I am looking for all outlets to reach people with my paintings.  The Art and Wine Stroll seems like a wonderful and creative event to do just that and I look forward to it.”

Artwork by Dean Napp, photo provided.

Lee Middleton looks forward to connecting with art fans at the stroll.

“I like the idea of this event. It provides people with the eclectic work of local artists,” he said. “As artists, we are always looking for exposure. Connecting with people interested in your work face to face is always interesting and enjoyable.”

On the day of the Art Stroll, guests must first check-in at the Hernando County Courthouse Plaza at 20 N. Main Street to obtain wristbands and commemorative cups.

Be sure to follow the Brooksville Main Street Facebook page and visit the website www.welovebvl.org for more details.


Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey is a features journalist and author who is the winner of Florida Press Association honors and a certificate of appreciation from LINCS (Family Support Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force) and Sunrise Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center for her newspaper coverage of these issues. She graduated cum laude from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., with a journalism major and English/sociology minor, and previously wrote for publications that include the Pasco editions of The Tampa Tribune and Tampa Bay Times. A native of Indiana, she lives in Florida.
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