Artists prepare for upcoming Melbourne festival


Junior and Digital Art 2 student Christina Lawson looks forward to facing her competition at Wickham Park on April 27-28 during the Melbourne regional art festival, a public event that attracts about 100,000 people each year. The show will exhibit the works of more than 200 Brevard County students and professional artists from across the nation from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The student competition will be organized into elementary, middle-school and high-school subdivisions and participants will have the opportunity to place first, second or third and receive monetary awards. They will also be able to win Merit and Patron certificates.

“I am really excited to see how the other school’s art students compare to ours to get a perspective on how other schools run their classes,” Lawson said via email. “I love seeing all the different styles and techniques of the local artists. Every one of them is just so unique and interesting. I think it’s great that they have a chance to advertise their talents. It gives the students a chance to show off their skills in a public setting as well as see how other artists perform. Plus, who wants to turn down a chance at free money?”

Displaying a variety of media including sculptures, ceramics, jewelry, paintings, drawings, fine arts and digital photography, the festival offers free admission, parking, children’s art projects and live entertainment.

“It’s an outstanding art show,” digital art teacher Jim Finch said. “It’s one of the best art shows in Florida and in the nation. I’d like my students to be exposed to that. Art speaks to us in different ways and artists are there because they like making art, responding to art, and having art around them. It enhances their life. I can’t imagine living without it.”

Featured live music on Saturday will start at 12:30 p.m. and end at 7 p.m. and on Sunday will run from 12:30 p.m. until 5 p.m. at the Wickham Amphitheater Stage with various local and regional acts. While visiting the show, the public can participate in the Flamingo 5K Run starting at 7:30 Saturday morning at Wickham Park. Food vendors will be set up, and children will have access to craft stations where they can learn how to create art that they can take home.

“If the public attends the art show, it gives a chance for both student and local artists to be able to show off and sell their work,” Lawson said. “Non-artists could appreciate all the lovely styles of artwork and the detailed craftsmanship of the pieces. Art students could also learn to appreciate the intricacies of each piece and appreciate just how much time and effort went into making something.”

By Monica Castellanos