Arts Fest

Artist Leslie Young of Daytona Beach resets one of her wooden nautilus shells during the inaugural Holly Hill Art Festival on the lawn in front of Holly Hill City Hall.

Helping Hands Thru Arts will present the Holly Hill Arts Festival April 10-11 in Sunrise Park at 1135 Riverside Drive.

The festival, which was canceled last year because of the pandemic, was moved from the lawn of City Hall to the Halifax River park for the second one.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

The festival will feature juried fine art from more than 90 local, regional and national artists and creative crafters. There will be affordable art for established and beginning collectors.

One of the festival benefactors, the Holly Hill School will perform the Star-Spangled Banner at 11 a.m. Sunday. The Festival’s main goal is to raise $1,000 each to support the art and music programs for Holly Hill School and United Brethren in Christ Academy. Art from the two Holly Hill schools will be displayed at the Student Art Exhibit. There also will be barbecue from Fraze’s Scratch Cookin’.

Festival presenter Helping Hands Thru Arts is a partnership between Pat Masotti-Abernathy’s Masotti’s Media Services South and Dr. Pam Fieldus’ Cheers4Arts. Both live in Ormond Beach.

Ms. Masotti-Abernathy and Dr. Fieldus have a combined 20 years volunteering with the Halifax Art Festival for the Guild of the Museum of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Fieldus is a retired dentist and Ms. Masotti-Abernathy owns a marketing company.

Ms. Masotti-Abernathy and her husband Dave Abernathy, attended Tony Cassata’s Classic Car event at Sunrise Park a few years ago.

“The children’s orchestra from the two Holly Hill schools played the Star-Spangled Banner. After their performance, I applauded the children’s efforts, but wondered what could be done to help them achieve their best potential,” she said. “Tony (Cassata) explained the music programs could use assistance in renting and/or purchasing musical instruments for the children.

“(Mr.) Cassata lit the spark that created our partnership. We decided to use our many years of experience in business and volunteering for events, art festivals, and classic car shows to assist the schools,” Ms. Masotti-Abernathy said. “We formed Helping Hands Thru Arts in January 2019. Our mission is to enhance and raise awareness of the arts while providing a venue for the fund-raising efforts of communities and organizations who are committed to improving children’s lives. Dr. Pam and I have always believed that music and art are extremely important in children’s lives and must remain in the schools and neighborhoods.”

She added the quality of the artwork is remarkable and, with so many festivals canceled at the beginning of the year, artists are anxious to present and sell their artwork.

Dr. Fieldus said, “We’re thankful that we can use our experience to present a quality art festival for the residents of Holly Hill. The quality of the artists is amazing. It’s going to be an awesome festival!”

One of the featured artists is Daytona Beach resident Peter Steenland who has been involved in art his whole life. His Tropic Seas Art showcases his mixed media paintings, which cover tropical themes with a wide range of realistic and semi-abstract subjects, and marine-life subjects, a category that may also encompass aquatic life, and some paintings related to the seas in an over-all way.

The oceans, and all waters, have encompassed much of Mr. Steenland's life, including a 32-year Merchant Marine career on large vessels. The seasoned captain is now a full-time painter with college degrees in fine art and studio art (while previously majoring in biology and marine sciences).

“Many are very large. There’s a lot of eight-foot paintings,” he said. “Many of them take years to do.”

He added, “It’s wonderful that Holly Hill boomed out with the idea. It’s a small community and it can really use a boost of art and they’re also supporting a couple of schools there in the community.”

Twenty other Volusia County artists will display and sell their work, joining artists from elsewhere in the state and nation.

The Festival Judge is Karen Kurta, a photographer and owner of Karen K Photo. She is an art show veteran with numerous professional affiliations and published works.

Awards include $1,000 for Best in Show, $500 for Award of Excellence, $300 for Award of Distinction, two $200 Awards of Honor and three $100 Awards of Merit.

Admission is free with parking at Sunshine Park and other nearby parking lots. There also is a free shuttle from City Hall to the part from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days.

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