Sunscreen is one of 2 major film festivals in the Tampa Bay area, and is held annually at Baywalk Muvico in downtown St Petersburg. The Film Festival is also a member of, and associated with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science, which brings us the Oscars. Sunscreen features independent films by local artists as well as filmmakers from around the world. First time movie screenings, workshops for actors and writers, and elegant parties held in downtown St Petersburg highlighted the 4 day event.
When June rolls around in Palm Harbor, an appropriate question to pose would be “What would Jimmy Buffett do?” The answer of course would be, have a tropical themed street festival that pays tribute to Jimmy Buffett, because it’s 5 o’clock somewhere. On Saturday, June 1, relax with tourists and locals alike at the 12th Annual Palm Harbor Parrot Head Party in the Downtown Historic District of Palm Harbor from 2 p.m. until 10 p.m. hosted by Old Palm Harbor Main Street, or OPHMS.
After twelve years, the street festival that takes place along Georgia Avenue draws over 20,000 visitors from all over the country. With the variety of island style activities, there will be fun for everyone in the community. Such activities include live entertainment, dancing and contests in honor of Jimmy Buffett. While enjoying the food court or browsing the unique vendors, guests will sway to the island sounds of The Caribbean Chillers, the premier Jimmy Buffett tribute band, and the Trop Rock Junkies.
Sand, surf, seafood and great deals on meals are in store May 12-18 during the 4th Annual Clearwater Beach Restaurant Week. More than 30 beach area restaurants will offer exclusive prix fixe menus priced from $15-$35 with some restaurants offering prix fixe lunches for $10-$15.
Restaurants range from casual beachside cafes to fine seafood and steak houses, all offering up to 35 percent less than what you would normally pay for a three-course dinner. Some of Clearwater Beach’s finest eateries are participating including the Sandpearl’s Caretta on the Gulf, Rusty’s Bistro at the Sheraton Sand Key, Island Way Grill, and SHOR American Seafood Grille at the Hyatt Clearwater Beach. But you’ll also find casual favorites like Clear Sky Beachside Café, Lobster Pot Bistro, Hooters, and all four Frenchy’s cafes.
Live music and entertainment at the Salute to the Arts event on February 7 will be provided by the Marin and Buzine Duo. The music group is comprised of two men, percussionist Olson Ignacio Marin and jazz guitarist Paul Buzine. The two met while playing with a band named “Airtight” at Coachman Park in Clearwater.
Marin has been playing music close to 40 years. He describes what inspired him to play music.
“The social aspect of it, to get together with friends and create something beautiful, sure is special,” Marin said.
When Marin plays music, describes this unique feeling.
“I reach a moment of total fulfillment in being able to share and express myself to others with a truly God-given gift,” Marin said.
Marin decided to participate and perform at the Salute to the Arts event because he always loved the arts in general and felt it would be good to be a part of such a unique event.
Decker Ross Interiors is showcasing the first group of the Artists’ Collective at the February 7 benefit for the Humane Society of Pinellas. A raffle and silent auction of some of the artists’ pieces will be conducted to raise funds for the non-profit organization.
Eduardo Camejo-Garriga, a Cuban-American artist who will be showcasing his contemporary paintings and drawings at the Salute to the Arts event, has dedicated over a decade of his life to his passion: visual arts. During that time, he developed and evolved his style into what it is today.
“Art for me is an avenue to visualize how I see the world, issues and problem solving,” Camejo-Garriga said.
When he creates his contemporary paintings, Camejo-Garriga paints a series of 12 pieces with the same theme. His current series is titled “Control Chaos.”
“I feel that even under chaotic times we must stay within boundaries and
not lose ourselves and compromise who we are,” Camejo-Garriga said.
Before he begins painting a new series, he outlines the entire series. He selects all of the colors and materials. Then the creative process really begins as he takes the next coming weeks to paint an entire series.
Camejo-Garriga’s first piece was a colored pencil drawing titled “Waiting for Summer” after his childhood memories of spending summers at the beach with his family.
For the silent auction at the Salute to the Arts event, Camejo-Garriga is donating a 30 x 40 acrylic canvas painting titled “Excito,” which is a part of the series “Retracing my Roots.”
On top of painting, Camejo-Garriga enjoys photography. He even has another company in addition to the gallery. He runs Gulf Breezes Photography where he takes real estate pictures of houses for sale in the Gulf region. He also documents his travels through photography and takes product photos for major advertising agencies in the area.
The Cuban-born artist now calls St. Petersburg his home and owns a gallery there. Galerias Bohemia is a fine art gallery located at 649 Central Avenue in St. Petersburg. Camejo-Garriga exhibits artists from all of the United States and other countries in his gallery, specifically from Cuba. He brings in art from contemporary artists living and working in Cuba in order to enhance the cultural exchange between the two countries and shed some light on artists that may not have been heard of before.
In fact, Camejo-Garriga is a manager for a fellow Cuban artist as well as another participating artist of the Salute to the Arts event. Sandra Dooley Medina, a contemporary painter who uses her own life experiences as subjects of her oil paintings, was born in Havana, Cuba, and now resides in the seaside town of Sante Fe, Cuba.
Medina is a self-taught artist who admits that her painting is her lifeblood. Her paintings usually feature a brightly colored scene of a woman deep in thought. Her message is that life is difficult but there are always friends, family or fantasy around. For 13 years now Medina has been exhibiting her artwork all over the world.
The third artist hails from Long Island, New York, with extensive school in the arts and two master’s degrees. Patty Farrell, a sculptor, received a master’s degree in Education as well as in Art. She attended New York University, Hofstra University and School of Visual Arts. Farrell has been featured in several New York Gallery Art Shows, including the “Up and Coming Artists” show at the Guggenheim.
Farrell still recalls the very first piece of art she created. It was an alabaster stone Maya head sculpture.
Farrell was inspired to create art from her love of creativity and self-expression. But creating beautiful sculpted art isn’t Farrell’s only passion. She also enjoys helping others and gardening.
The final artist creates beautifully unique and delicate creations out of Murano and Venetian glass. Diana Lee Cunningham developed a passion for glass jewelry and art after she watched her grandmother create beautiful cloisonné pieces.
“My first memory of creating artwork was in the copper enameling studio with my grandmother,” Cunningham said. “Today I still work with glass, but now it is in the form of jewelry with Venetian glass set in silver, copper, or gold-filled wire designs that I create.”
Cunningham took her passion to the collegiate level and received a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design.
“Art is such a joyful experience… outward expression…always exciting!” Cunningham said.
Cunningham had a career in graphic design, marketing and advertising
with her company Partnership Marketing. But after 30 years, she could tell there was still something missing. After moving to Safety Harbor, her and her husband, Rick, enrolled in a jewelry design class and Cunningham’s passion for jewelry was reignited. Together, Patty and Rick, create the silver and gold necklaces adorned with natural gems, Venetian and Murano glass, and lamp work beads for her line called Diana Lee Designs. She has been able to enjoy the other passions of her life, such as horseback riding, tennis, and travel to exotic places to appreciate the art of other cultures.
Cunningham said most of her designs come to her as she is going to sleep, so she keeps a pad on her bedside table.
Cunningham makes each jewelry piece according to the style and personality of each customer, so no two pieces are alike. She has even branched out to glass infused wall art, which are mounted on canvas then framed.
“Connection with my clients is very important to me since I am helping them create their own statement,” Cunningham said. “And how wonderful is that?”
The Living Room on Main will be providing the food for guests of the Salute to the Arts event on February 7, an opportunity that the owner, Phil Renaud, was more than happy to take part in. The Living Room is located in the heart of Dunedin’s downtown area, at 487 Main Street, which Renaud labels as a “good spot” to watch some local entertainment and get a bite to eat.
Renaud has owned The Living Room with his wife, Tammy, for just four months. He always wanted to own a waterfront restaurant since he developed a passion for food through his passion for wine.
“The passion of wine and food led me to the restaurant world,” Renaud said. “Learning how to cook recipes and different types of cooking led me. The biggest [reason] is to share the whole event of food and wine pairing.”
An opportunity to own a restaurant less than a mile from the water fell into his lap when The Living Room became available, so he took advantage of it. Renaud said that things just worked out.
The 100 percent French owner appreciates all types of cooking styles and wines. This appreciation can be translated over to the eclectic menu of The Living Room, which features an American cuisine with Italian, French and Spanish flair. The décor and architecture of The Living Room is just as eclectic as its menu. A cozy ambiance is translated through the cozy couches and low lighting. The extensive bar is intimate and well stocked so it’s sure to wet every whistle that walks in the door. The unique set up is unparalleled and is sure to leave a lasting impression in all patrons. Visit the Bon Appetit section on page 32 in our Winter issue to read more about The Living Room’s drink and food specials.
For the event, The Living Room will be wowing guests with three unique appetizers from its
menu. Renaud decided to help out with the Salute to the Arts event because he wants to get more involved with the community.
“My intentions with both restaurants here [The Living Room and Dunedin Smokehouse] are to get more involved with local charities and fundraising events,” Renaud said. “This has been one of the first events since I’ve been here.”
When the restaurant owner isn’t participating in community events or taking care of everyday restaurant business, Renaud talks about his “sort-of” dream in life.
“To travel, explore and experience different cultures,” Renaud said. “And to have the luxury to travel.”
And his biggest chef inspirations.
“First on the list would have to be Wolfgang Puck,” Renaud said. “Bobby Flay is pretty cool. Chuck Hughes in Montreal is very passionate.”
The Living Room on Main’s phone number is 727-736-5202 and its website is www.thelivingroomonmain.com.
Mardi Gras, is French for “Fat Tuesday”, celebrating the last night for indulging on rich foods before fasting for Lent. A traditional event with large parades and street parties can be seen in New Orleans and around the world. In Dunedin, it’s a day of festivities that draws thousands of people each year and one of the biggest celebrations in the South Eastern U.S.
Meet Safety Harbor’s new Mayor, Joseph Ayoub, at a reception in his honor on Friday, January 18, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Safety Harbor Resort and Spa. The “Meet the Mayor” event also will give people an opportunity to thank outgoing Mayor Andy Steingold for his dedicated service to the community.
Also meet Commissioners Nina Bandoni, Nancy Besore and Cliff Merz as well as newly elected Commissioner Rick Blake. Hors d’oeuvres will be served provided by the Safety Harbor Resort and Spa and Destination Tampa Bay magazine. Music will be provided by the Safety Harbor Musicians Cooperative. A cash bar will also be available.
For the past 31 years, John’s Pass Village and Boardwalk on Madeira Beach has been home to one of the most popular festivals in St. Petersburg. Over 30,000 guests are expected to attend the free three-day Seafood Festival October 26-28, that will showcase fresh local seafood, unique shops, fine arts and crafts, and live entertainment.
Organized by the John’s Pass Village Association, the festival runs from noon-11 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 26. At 6 p.m. on Friday, festival organizers will present a “Blessing of the Fleet” for the fishermen who risk their lives for bringing the catch to our plates. A street dance will be performed in the main food court from 7 p.m.-11 p.m. At 9 p.m., grab a good spot for the fireworks display. The evening will be topped off with wine and live entertainment.
If you enjoy experiencing the flavors of different wines, then be sure to come to the 11th Annual Safety Harbor Wine Festival presented by Dimmitt Cadillac. On Saturday, Nov. 3, from 5 p.m. – 11 p.m., Main Street in Downtown Safety Harbor will be filled with arts and crafts vendors, live music and entertainment, samplings of craft beers, and, the best part, hundreds of wines from around the world including some that are locally-produced here in Florida. The fine shops and restaurants of Downtown Safety Harbor will stay open later to accommodate guests attending the Wine Festival.
Get Your Blues On!
Do you enjoy the heartfelt tunes of the blues? How about a rich glass of wine? Then come on down to the 21st annual Dunedin Wines the Blues event on Saturday, Nov. 10, where you can experience the taste and sounds of wine and blues all in one night. This is one of Dunedin’s biggest parties of the year, so you don’t want to miss out on the fun! Admission is free, but wine is purchased with five to nine tickets, depending on the wine.
Dazzling Holiday Lights Show Is Back!
The dates of this annual community tradition and festive holiday event have been announced! The Florida Botanical Gardens at 12520 Ulmerton Rd in Largo will host the Holiday Lights in the Garden event November 23 through January 1 from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. each day.
Come see the spectacular botanical gardens showcased
in 500,000 sparkling LED lights that are environmentally friendly! Guests will be treated to a special laser light show, holiday music and a new light display in the vinery gardens and McKay Creek Fountains.
The recommended donation of $2 per person grants you a ticket to one of the most dazzling events of the season. Children 12 and under are free. Visit www.flbg.org or call 727-582-2100 for more details.
Experience Clearwater Through Taste
For an evening of spectacular food and fun in Clearwater, look no farther than this year’s “A Taste of Clearwater.” On Thursday, Oct. 11, Ruth Eckerd Hall will host the 23rd annual event. From 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., guests will enjoy local food from over 25 bay area restaurants, drinks and entertainment. Included in the night’s festivities is a cook-off competition, “Iron Chef” style, between chefs of two Baystar Restaurants located on Ruth Eckerd Hall’s performance stage.
A Taste of Clearwater is hosted by the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce. General admission tickets are $30, chamber member tickets are $25 and group tickets with five or more people are $20 each. All tickets on the day of the event will be $30.
For more details, visit the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce’s website at www.clearwaterflorida.org.
Winners of 2012 ‘Stepping With The Stars’ Announced!
The Safety Harbor Chamber of Commerce hosted yet another successful “Stepping With The Stars” event in August. The winners of the fundraising event were Kim Florio for Judges Choice First Place, Kelly Picot for Judges Choice Second Place, and Ann Marie DiToro for Judges Choice Third Place. Nancy Thielman took the award for Peoples Choice, which consisted of the most votes minus the judges, and Ann Marie DiToro won Grand Champion for the most votes including the judges.
The Chamber congratulates all of the dancers that participated and all who organized the event for such a successful evening! Check out photos from the event on the Safety Harbor Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Safety-Harbor-Chamber-of-Commerc/318590775040.
Oldsmar, Safety Harbor Mayors Host Breakfast
The cities of Oldsmar and Safety Harbor are coming together Friday, Dec. 14, for the annual Mayor’s Breakfast. Each year, the event location switches between Oldsmar and Safety Harbor, and this year it is at the Nielsen Corporation, 501 Brooker Creek Blvd. in Oldsmar.
From 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., Mayor Jim Ronecker of Oldsmar and Mayor Andy Steingold of Safety Harbor will don aprons and serve breakfast to the guests of this year’s Mayor’s Breakfast. Food will be provided by the Nielsen Corporation. The Chambers of Commerce, Rotary Clubs and City Councils of Oldsmar and Safety Harbor sponsor this event. All proceeds go towards the purchase of holiday dinners, toys, presents and clothing for underprivileged children and their families.
Call the Oldsmar Chamber of Commerce at 813-855-4233 or the Safety Harbor Chamber of Commerce at 727-726-2890 for more event details or to purchase tickets.
Cirque de Soleil Plans a Stop for KOOZA in St. Pete!
For a few weeks in November, Cirque du Soleil will return to St. Petersburg for the first time in seven years with its big-top production, KOOZA. Starting on Thursday, Nov. 8, Cirque du Soleil will perform under the white big-top of Tropicana Field.
KOOZA reflects Cirque du Soleil’s roots and the combination of two circus acts: acrobatic performing and clowning. The underlying concepts of the “circus in a box” production can be seen in the name KOOZA, which means “box” or “chest.” The lighthearted and fun production combines acrobatics, contortions and other amazing feats, both on or above the stage.
Cirque du Soleil’s tour stop in St. Petersburg ends November 25, so be sure to get your tickets soon! Tickets begin at $43.50 and go up to $143.50. Tickets can be purchased at www.CirqueduSoleil.com.
It’s that time of year again to see the outrageous and colorful fashions of the Dunedin Fine Art Center’s Wearable ART Fashion Show. The fashions of Tampa Bay area artists will be displayed on Saturday, Aug. 11, starting at 7 p.m. with a
pre-party and the runway show at 8:30 p.m. Live music will rock the after-party as word of this year’s fashions buzz around the room. The eighth annual fashion show will be hosted at 1143 Michigan Boulevard in Dunedin.
The 3nd Annual Clearwater Beach Restaurant Week returns May 13-19 offering exclusive prix fixe menus at nearly 40 restaurants. The popular event is expected to bring thousands of foodies to area eateries to explore the diversity of dining options from casual cuisine to fine dining.
The week of culinary adventure, organized by the Clearwater Beach Chamber of Commerce, begins with a Kick Off Party along Beach Walk from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, May 11. Gulfview Boulevard in front of the Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach will be closed to traffic and the party will extend to Crabby Bill’s. Attendees will be able to sample foods from participating restaurants, enjoy live music on two stages, arts and crafts, a Wine Garden, a live Chef’s Auction and a fireworks display to close the evening. Admission is $20, with a wristband to the Wine Garden an additional $10.
Suncoast Hospice was founded in 1977 by concerned Pinellas County citizens who wanted to improve the lives of people experiencing their final months, days, or moments, and for those in need of help through loss and the process of grieving. Now, in its twelfth year, organizers of the Suncoast Hospice Beach Stroll are preparing for another successful event to raise awareness, as well as funding.
The future of Pinellas County is in good hands if the dedication of the current members of Leadership Pinellas is any indication. They are working together on a project to raise funds to support the Youth Leadership Pinellas. A joint program of Leadership Pinellas & the YMCA of the Suncoast “Celebrating Tomorrow’s Leaders” will be held in the spectacular Garden Room at Earthscapes in Palm Harbor from 6:30-9:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 5.