Updated: Feb 10, 2022
The cold temperatures in Southwest Florida didn’t keep people away from the 19th annual St. Armands Circle Art Festival held Jan. 29-30 on the iconic island in Lido Key. Set in one of the most visited areas in Sarasota, the Art Festival is consistently ranked as one of the best art festivals in the U.S. by Sunshine Artist Magazine, and it’s easy to see why.
The event brings together more than 180 national and local artists to the Key to display their works, ranging from life-sized sculptures, photography, paintings, mixed media, hand-crafted furniture and décor, apparel, fine jewelry, glasswork, and more. The two-day event attracts locals and tourists alike to simply admire the artistry or find a one-of-a-kind creation for home or office.
Despite the chilly air and gusty winds on Saturday, the popular art festival drew a bundled-up crowd anxious to ogle the variety of artwork — from the extraordinary to the eclectic — that turned the green within the well-known Circus “Ring of Fame” into an explosion of color and textures.
Whether browsing or buying, it’s always fun to walk around the circle and along South Boulevard of the Presidents to see the creativity and talent on display. An added bonus is being able to speak with the artists directly about their work, the process, and the option of commissioning a personal piece. Melissa Luoma of Serenity Jewels said she was happy to see the large turnout, and that she had already sold several of her sterling silver pieces by late morning.
There are a number of art shows throughout the year in Sarasota County, so attendees may see some familiar faces and pieces, but each show also features new artists and vendors. What makes this particular festival even more special is that it takes place on St. Armands Circle, Sarasota’s sophisticated dining and shopping district where you can spend the day – or entire weekend — enjoying everything this historic area has to offer.
If you missed this Art Festival, or just didn’t want to brave the frigid temperatures, don’t worry…the 20th annual St. Armand’s Circle Craft Festival will be held June 11-12. Chances are it will warm up by then!