The eighth Granada Arts Festival came back strong on Saturday 5 February.
Crowds of people gathered along New Britain Ave., located just behind the downtown row of restaurants: 63 Sovereign, Grind Gastropub and Kona Tiki Bar, Rose Villa and 31 Supper Club, where tents of vendors and artist stalls lined the street. Attendees had the chance to browse artisan items, immerse themselves in art, or grab a bite to eat at the Ormond Garage as live music from the Adam Kornecki Jazz Trio drifted throughout the event.
Ormond Beach MainStreet and the Ormond Beach Arts District co-host the annual event, which is crucial to the artistic and cultural enrichment of the city’s community and downtown.
Volunteers Christina Cassidy, Sam Walter and Bob Truilo greeted visitors as they made their way to the information booth.
“The turnout was phenomenal despite the weather. All the vendors introduced themselves. Everyone arrived like wildfire, all day. If you look down the street, it’s completely crowded. BOB TRUILO, event volunteer
“The turnout was phenomenal despite the weather,” Truilo said. “All the vendors showed up. Everyone arrived like wildfire, all day. If you look down the street, it’s completely crowded.
This is the first year that the organizers have organized an art exhibition with a jury. Judith Stein, chair of the Ormond Beach Arts District Board of Trustees, was one of the judges.
“I usually volunteer at all the events,” she said. “This year, I held the position of information and I was also a judge. I have never been a judge before. It was really fun. We need to talk to artists. All artists agreed on the chosen winners.
Artist Mary Wentzel took first place in the art exhibition. Twenty-six watercolor and acrylic ink paintings were on display in his stand. After losing her job at the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse as Program Manager due to the pandemic, she was able to focus on her art. She’s since written a children’s book, “Crazy’s A to Z for Kids,” and had a painting chosen for the ArtFields exhibit in Lake City, South Carolina, this spring.
“I’m in the right place where I should be right now,” she said. “I feel really lucky. As soon as I found out I was going to lose my job, I started working on my art a lot.
Alongside the children’s art wall, Port Orange’s ArtHaus was hosting a live chalk art competition where five artists were busy creating their works on the sidewalk. Cameron Vintson, executive director of ArtHaus, explained that there are usually a number of artists, but the Omicron variant has knocked some out, forcing her to try her hand at chalk art. .
“I ended up having to do some chalk art today, which I never did,” she said. “I have a whole new respect for my artists. I’m going to see if I can massage them all whenever I ask them to.
ArtHaus has been a children’s charity for 25 years. They provide art therapy and enrichment to disadvantaged, at-risk and special needs youth in Volusia County.
“Thank you in large part to Ormond Beach MainStreet,” Vintson said. “They asked us to come and do this. They did the legwork and found our sponsors, which is a huge relief for me as we are very busy. We just hope to make our sponsors proud by doing some really cool work.