Paint-out benefits FCS' art department

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The St. George Island Paint Out crossed the bridge in early May and brought 15 talented artists to Franklin County for a week of painting, teaching, art exhibits, painting demonstrations, Happy Hours and receptions.

The St. George Island Paint Out Team of myself, Diane Bodenhamer, and Leslie Lewin are very appreciative of the community support that was received to help make this event possible. We were able to hold the Paint Out, a 501c3 non-profit, by applying for and receiving a grant from the TDC. We also received a grant from Duke Energy presented to us by Danny Collins. Other funding came from private donations and local businesses advertising in our city directory listings on our website at sgipaintout.com.
We would also like to thank the volunteer staff that helped make the events run smoothly. Thanks go to Barb Iman, Mims and Carl Adams, Mimi Prendergast, Ellen Mackay, Denise Sokolowski, Mary Grey and Roland Whitlock, Linda Jones and Claire Rice.
We want to thank Andrea Comstock and Brian O’Meara of Live Oak Gallery for all of their hard work by presenting five artists’ Fresh Off The Easel works during the week, hosting the Historic District Painting Tour exhibit and reception, and providing the venue for the final reception and awards art show.
The Visitors Center on St. George Island hosted the Quick Draw Contest; 20 paintings from that event were on display in the center all week. Thanks to John Solomon and Nancy Hodgson of the Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce for helping with this event and always graciously helping when we need it.
Coastal Realty Group on the island did a wonderful job serving as a gallery of the island. The Paint Out Team is very appreciative of their accommodating the art and the artists and wishes to thank Helen Meeks for her help.
Becasa on Commerce Street in Apalachicola served as a Fresh Off the Easel Gallery for the week. Emily Raffield, owner of Becasa, hosted an “After Hours” reception for the five artists exhibiting in her shop. As the artists painted along the sidewalks, attendees enjoyed complimentary appetizers and drinks presented and served by Emily and her staff.
Thanks to JP Parker, owner of Eastpoint Brewery for hosting a Happy Hour while five more artists painted bay views. He kept the complimentary pizzas coming all evening for attendees, who enjoyed sipping JP’s craft beer creations.
The new St. George Cantina and Margarita Bar hosted the final Happy Hour event on the island. Thanks to manager, Laura Toole and owners Chris and Carolyn Fagan for the delicious appetizers that were enjoyed while watching artists paint around the area and even inside the bar.

Island Dog Outdoor owners, Julie and Brian Krontz provided golf cart rides to the Fresh off the Easel exhibit at Coastal Realty Group from the Cantina during the Happy Hour. Thanks, Julie and Brian.

The paint-out raised $1,255 for the Franklin County Schools art department by raffling an original oil painting by professional plein air artist, Kathleen Denis. Rick Watson of St. George Island was the winner, after Denis drew his name from a large bucket of tickets at the final reception at Live Oak Gallery.
Winners of the Paint Out, announced earlier in the afternoon, included Best Of Show - “Happy Hour” by Natalia Andreeva of Tallahassee; “Penthouse” by Manon Sander, of North Palm Beach; “Afternoon Sparkle” by Cory Wright, of Anna Marie Island; and “So Inviting” by Kathleen Denis, of Palm Beach Shores.
People’s Choice was a tie between Cory Wright for “Off the Beaten Path,” and “Ruins” by Craig Reynolds, of Gulf Shores, Alabama.
The SGI Paint Out enjoyed expanding our painting horizons this year to include Apalachicola, Eastpoint, Carrabelle. We hope to be back next year.

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