Cloudy skies with a few showers after midnight. Low 74F. Winds E at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 30%..
Cloudy skies with a few showers after midnight. Low 74F. Winds E at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 30%.
Updated: September 14, 2022 @ 9:07 pm
St. Pete fine artist J.D. River is a contemporary mixed media artist based in the Warehouse Arts District of St. Petersburg, Florida. Working in both 2D and 3D, River combines acrylic paints, pigments, resins, and ink with metals and wood to create dynamic originals with rich colors and textures.  Featured three years ago as one of Howard Alan Events’ “rising stars” in the art world, J.D. has established himself as one of the most col-lected fine artists in the festival circuit, with works in galleries around the country. Follow-ing a successful Colorado tour, J.D. enjoys exhibiting in the fine art and fine craft shows near home as a chance to catch up with local residents and his fellow artists.
Mike Clem from Dallas, Texas, repurposes old library books, turning a book of letters into personalized letter art. Started in 2013, the LetterLounge inspires others by taking books “off the dusty shelves and lovingly transforming them into new works as a way to rediscover the creative imagination inside.” This is Mike’s debut show with ACE.
Visitors to the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks Art & Craft Festival will find the per-fect pieces for their pooches from Clearwater crafter Peter Lakiotis. Peter hand-makes custom harnesses, hats and more in fun fabrics and designs.
 
Handmade soaps, delicious dips, mixed nuts and living plants fill out the green market within the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks Art & Craft Festival. 
 
 
Festival street photo.
 
This hand-carved, Etruscan mermaid pendant is made from solid yellow bronze by Vie Blakey of Tarpon Springs. Vie is a French, self-taught, visual artist and artisan jewel-er.  She grew up in the Lorraine region in the north-east part of France and now works from her home studio.  Unsatisfied with what she saw on the market, Vie decided to bring to life what appealed to her about the ancient jewelry she saw in museums. Vie handcrafts her own molds from sculptures, coins, cameos and other historical objects, and her work is available at the Chicago Field Museum, Getty Villa Museum, and other institutions around the world. Each Mythology and nature-inspired work is copywritten, ensuring 100% originality.

St. Pete fine artist J.D. River is a contemporary mixed media artist based in the Warehouse Arts District of St. Petersburg, Florida. Working in both 2D and 3D, River combines acrylic paints, pigments, resins, and ink with metals and wood to create dynamic originals with rich colors and textures.  Featured three years ago as one of Howard Alan Events’ “rising stars” in the art world, J.D. has established himself as one of the most col-lected fine artists in the festival circuit, with works in galleries around the country. Follow-ing a successful Colorado tour, J.D. enjoys exhibiting in the fine art and fine craft shows near home as a chance to catch up with local residents and his fellow artists.
Mike Clem from Dallas, Texas, repurposes old library books, turning a book of letters into personalized letter art. Started in 2013, the LetterLounge inspires others by taking books “off the dusty shelves and lovingly transforming them into new works as a way to rediscover the creative imagination inside.” This is Mike’s debut show with ACE.
Visitors to the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks Art & Craft Festival will find the per-fect pieces for their pooches from Clearwater crafter Peter Lakiotis. Peter hand-makes custom harnesses, hats and more in fun fabrics and designs.
 
Handmade soaps, delicious dips, mixed nuts and living plants fill out the green market within the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks Art & Craft Festival. 
 
 
Festival street photo.
 
This hand-carved, Etruscan mermaid pendant is made from solid yellow bronze by Vie Blakey of Tarpon Springs. Vie is a French, self-taught, visual artist and artisan jewel-er.  She grew up in the Lorraine region in the north-east part of France and now works from her home studio.  Unsatisfied with what she saw on the market, Vie decided to bring to life what appealed to her about the ancient jewelry she saw in museums. Vie handcrafts her own molds from sculptures, coins, cameos and other historical objects, and her work is available at the Chicago Field Museum, Getty Villa Museum, and other institutions around the world. Each Mythology and nature-inspired work is copywritten, ensuring 100% originality.
TARPON SPRINGS — With the arrival of fall, a popular favorite walk-along-the-dock event returns to North Pinellas with the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks Art & Craft Festival, set for Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 24-25, along Dodecanese Boulevard in Tarpon Springs. 
Hours will be Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. For information, visit www.artfestival.com.
In addition to heralding a new season of arts and craft festivals, this American Craft Endeavors will feature more than 60 craft artisans and artists and thousands of original works. The outdoor art and craft festival offers a chance for residents to peruse and shop for practical and whimsical works of quality, handmade art while enjoying the beautiful Florida weather.
Pets on leashes are welcome to join their human companions as they stroll through the festival, which includes a full green market of live plants, handmade soaps, delicious edibles and more. Adding to the pleasure of the outing, patrons can meet the artisans behind the works and discover the techniques and inspirations behind each creation.  
The juried outdoor fine craft event showcases original crafts, all handmade in America, priced to suit all budgets. Artists and crafters hand-selected items displayed from among hundreds of applicants and will remain on site for the duration of the festival.
Attendees will discover a vast array of artistic media, such as paintings, sculpture, photography, folk art, pottery, personalized gifts, handmade clothing, basket weaving, beaded utensils, candles, cork assemblage, fabric design, fiber quilts, fused wax and glass, hair accessories, handbags and accessories, handmade cards, leather, mosaic, wood, painted wood, plaster craft, and stained glass. 
Among the craft artisans and artists scheduled to participate in the festival is Vie Blakey of Tarpon Springs. Blakey is a self-taught visual artist and artisan jeweler who grew up in the Lorraine region in the northeast part of France and now works from her home studio. Unsatisfied with what she saw on the market, she decided to bring to life what appealed to her about the ancient jewelry she saw in museums.
Blakey handcrafts her own molds from sculptures, coins, cameos and other historical objects, and her work is available at the Chicago Field Museum, Getty Villa Museum, and other institutions around the world. Each mythology and nature-inspired work is copywritten, ensuring 100% originality.
St. Pete fine artist J.D. River is a contemporary mixed media artist based in the Warehouse Arts District of St. Petersburg. Working in both 2D and 3D, River combines acrylic paints, pigments, resins, and ink with metals and wood to create dynamic originals with rich colors and textures. 
Featured three years ago as one of Howard Alan Events’ “rising stars” in the art world, River has established himself as one of the most collected fine artists in the festival circuit, with works in galleries around the country. Following a successful Colorado tour, he enjoys exhibiting in the fine art and fine craft shows near home as a chance to catch up with local residents and his fellow artists. 
Kim Williams specializes in setting antique and exotic coins with faux and genuine precious stones to create a wealth of wearable art.
“After selling my bath and body company, I needed a new hobby to keep myself off the streets,” Williams explains on her Etsy page. “I started to make jewelry to sell at my sister’s store and then I had an epiphany.”
Williams found herself with more than 1,000 coins from her global travels.  “I have a collected a nice bunch of coins,” she says. “So why not make them into something cool that others can enjoy as well?”
Her husband provided a name for her new endeavor: When in Roam Jewelry.  
“So now I spend my days drilling holes into coins and making fabulous looking jewelry for others to enjoy,” she says.
Terry Andrews of Ocala also will take part in this year’s festival.
The award-winning glass sculptor uses copper and fused glass to create his unique and oftentimes whimsical sculptures. His work can be seen in private collections around the world and grace the permanent collections of the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia, as well as the Carrolton Museum of Contemporary Art in Carrolton, Georgia.
Andrews also participates in juried fine art festivals across the country. This Florida native is also an accomplished musician. Originally from the Tampa area, he pursued a career in music until 1994. Always having an interest in glass, Andrews dabbled with the medium, first with blown glass and lamp work, heavy flat and carved glass sculpture.
His work has now evolved to include copper and fused glass sculptures. The fusing work is done in a kiln.
Mike Williams of St. Petersburg is known for his custom map art.
“I would have to say I am more of a professional daydreamer than an artist,” Williams said in a press release promoting the festival. “Instead of paying attention in class, I would daze off thinking of far-off places, which were more interesting and exciting than a classroom.”
Two weeks after graduating, he started working as a carpenter, building homes on the shores of Lake Erie. After three years of this, he knew this was not going to be his path in life. 
“I started concentrating on what I loved years earlier, drawing,” he said. “I took a chance one Saturday morning and walked door-to-door offering to create renderings of the many summer cottages as well as their boats to the weekend vacationers. It took off from there.”
The gamble paid off. Not only did Williams get his name out there quickly, but it allowed him to quit his full-time job and focus on what he loved.
“I figured to be an artist I should have a degree in art,” Williams said. “I took my portfolio, walked into several well-respected colleges, and asked the art professors for their opinions on which direction I should go.”
Williams received an answer he was not expecting.
“They told me not to go to school, and that there was nothing they could teach me that I did not already know.”
From there, Williams went on to open a small gallery on Catawba Island, Ohio. 
“For three summers I successfully ran my shop, but something was missing — freedom,” he said. “I was married to it. Having set hours that I had to be somewhere seven days a week quickly became no fun. I would exhibit my work at shows along Lake Michigan as well as Lake Erie throughout the summers as well.”
Williams got wind of all the shows held in Florida during the winter months, and he decided to give it a try.
“There was endless inspiration to be found in Florida, and after two years of driving up and down Route 75, I decided to make it my new home,” he said. “It has afforded me to enjoy the most important part of what I do for a living: freedom.”
American Craft Endeavors produces some of the nation’s most admired high-end juried craft shows in many of Florida’s vibrant downtown areas and popular tourist destinations, such as the Downtown Dunedin Art and Craft Festivals and the Downtown Sarasota Craft Festivals, among others. The group’s founders personally select unique, culturally rich cities for their show locations providing a complete outdoor experience unmatched by other festivals. All crafters are hand-selected from hundreds of applicants in order to ensure a superior event featuring diverse art media and the highest quality of original handmade crafts.  
For additional information on the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks Art & Craft Festival and other American Craft Endeavors craft shows, visit www.artfestival.com or call 561-746-6615.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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