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Murals for Florida Mermaid Trail to be unveiled

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The Florida Mermaid Trail is a 2.2 mile walking trail lined with beautiful miniature bronze mermaid statues ranging from 12 to 21 inches in size. Soon, Brooksville Main Street will unveil 20 new additional murals for the mermaid trail. The unveiling will happen at their 3rd Annual Florida Mermaid Trail Festival located at Hernando Park. It will be held on Saturday February 12th from 11 am to 3 pm with free admission. “The artists will be attending the event, as well as lots of other craft vendors, and all of the vendors will have lots of mermaid-themed items!” said Jessica Knutila, a glass artist with senOiH Glass and a Mobile Mural Project Coordinator for Brooksville Main Street.

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Each artist created an original art piece for the fourth round of Mobile Mini Murals, which has a theme of “Tangerine Dreams.” Executive Director of Brooksville Main Street Natalie Kahler explained, “Some of these murals feature mermaids, which make them particularly perfect for this event. The artists will be stationed beside the trail, showing their murals as they answer questions and show and sell other works of art.”

Also featured at the festival will be live music, art vendors, and a Mermaid Costume Contest for adults, children and pets. Spring Hill face painter Melissa Perez, once a Disney face painter, will be on hand to offer her own artistic services. In addition, some very special guests will be in attendance.

“We’ll be welcoming live mermaids from Weeki Wachee. They’ll be there taking photos with the kids, “ said Kahler. The mobile murals will be on display in the park, before they are placed throughout downtown.

For more about the Florida Mermaid Trail Festival, visit the website or FB page at https://www.facebook.com/BrooksvilleMain and https://floridamermaidtrail.com/.

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Featured artists will be:

Brianna Reichard, a seasoned professional painter who shows her art across the nation;

Alison Papantoniou, who shows watercolor art at the Uptown Art Gallery in Brooksville and is also building an ABA-based art program here in Hernando County;

Jessica Denmark with the Painted Hand, who specializes in murals, pencil drawings, pottery, painting, or funky crafts;

Karen Governale, a self-taught mural and charcoal painter, Jesse Simon, whose mobile mural in 2021 sold for the highest amount of all 40 murals auctioned off since this project started and a specialist in all kinds of art from painting and drawing to photography and video production;

Cassidy Wilson specializing in both painted and fiber art;

Alyona Fleck, a multi-disciplinary artist local to Brooksville who specializes in painting with acrylic, digital illustration, and mural work;

Sam Rispoli, a 25 year old self taught artist and art teacher who works in a variety of different media but mostly in acrylic paints;

Clovis Dean Rusk, a Brooksville resident for more than 50 years recently retired from a long career in commercial graphic arts and has since been painting large-format figurative oils in a traditional realist style;

Julia Montiero, a full-time artist who created the ferret mural currently hanging on the Lowman building in downtown Brooksville, creator of JAM ART and Consciousness Art Collaboration LLC;

Rachelle Gearhart, who has presented her work at the Uptown Art Gallery in Brooksville, and is an Artist, Muralist, and Maker, specializing with acrylic paints and mixed media, ink, pencil, watercolor, and polymer clay;

Tammy McClung, a self-taught artist/entrepreneur/creative educator who works mostly in watercolor and acrylics and owns “PAINTING ESSENTIALS,” painting parties, framed artwork, greeting cards and body art;

Gary Duquette, who has been involved with the Mobile Mural Project since its start in 2020 and has created many murals in Brooksville–his watercolor paintings can be found in local businesses all around the county;

Renata Villemaire, an established professional artist and art teacher who has turned out major mural projects within our community;

Nancy Barry, a muralist and oil/watercolor painter whose work has appeared on walls at the Hernando County Public Library System, the Rusted Jade Art Collective, and multiple other locations;

Jillian Herrera of Gypsy Jill Designs, who refurbishes, revamps, custom paints, and custom designs furniture in addition to her mural work;

Justin Aldesek of Gypsea Arts, a portrait and creative painter who has shown his work throughout the country, and Karen Ganci, who hand paints sports memorabilia and original art and whose life-like paintings can be seen on all types of media ranging from sports jerseys and canvas to baseballs and authentic stadium seats.

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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