With clear skies and pleasant fall temperatures, the sun rose over Historic Downtown DeLand on Saturday where 140 artists gathered to exhibit their work for the 30th annual Fall Festival of the Arts. Crowds gathered early to enjoy one of West Volusia’s largest annual events and kick-off the holiday season.
As thousands of visitors from all over Florida and the southeastern U.S. strolled along Woodland Blvd. in the historic downtown area, hundreds of volunteers worked to make the event a success, including the judges, whose job it was to select 28 artists to receive more than $25,000 in cash awards. Well known and highly respected in the art festival world were this year’s judges, Reynier Llanes and Ken Rollins. Llanes, a painter and a 2007 emigree from Cuba was originally scheduled to serve last year but had to cancel at the last minute. Rollins is a retired museum executive from Lakeland with more than 25 years’ experience curating and managing major art institutions across Florida
The winners were announced by Festival President Mallory McDonald Fernandez on Saturday night at an awards reception and dinner in a tent in the Festival center. Taking Best of Show and winning $4,000 for his work in painting was Robert Ross from Winter Park. The next two awards of $2,500 each, went to Belli Domenico, a sculptor from Sarasota for Judges Choice 3D and David Hunter a printmaker from Winter Park for Judges Choice 2D. This was Hunter’s second year winning this same award, having received it at last year’s festival.
According to Festival Judge Ken Rollins, “It was an honor to serve as a judge for Deland’s 30th annual Fall Festival. I was very impressed with the high caliber of work represented here. So many of the artists I spoke with have been working at their medium for decades and it shows. I’m also excited to be a part of an event that truly cares for artists and offers so much built-in support in the form of multiple awards guaranteeing a successful weekend for participants.” Judge Llanes said this, “judging this year’s Fall Festival was wonderful…