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Peace River National Art Festival March 18 & 19, 2017

This is Charlotte County’s premier outdoor juried fine arts show, the 10th annual Peace River National Art Festival returns to Laishley Park, Punta Gorda, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. There will be plenty of free parking at the justice center and surrounding areas. The event is sponsored by the Visual Arts Center, the community’s nonprofit cultural facility. Food, beer and wine are available.

The show is limited to 90 artists and we work very hard to limit repetition in art works.  The festival is run for the benefit of the Visual Arts Center of Punta Gorda, Charlotte County, Florida and the City of Punta Gorda have been instrumental in making this event a treasured community event.

A kaleidoscope of artistic creativity will convene on the banks of the Peace River in historic Punta Gorda, Fla., during the 10th Annual Peace River National Arts Festival at Laishley Park. Organized by the Visual Arts Center in Punta Gorda (www.visualartcenter.org), 90 nationally recognized juried artists represent various mediums including art glass, fiber arts, jewelry, leather goods, metalwork, oil paintings, photography, pottery, stone sculptures, and watercolor.

Live music, and an eclectic array of food and beverages complement the art show and create a full-day cultural experience. The Peace River National Arts Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Artwork will be offered for sale in a variety of price points. Laishley Park is located at 100 East Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda, and only steps away from The Wyvern Hotel a new luxurious 63-room European-style hotel that opened in November 2008. 

Coverage of last years event by FLORIDA WEEKLY

Sponsored by the Visual Arts Center, the annual Peace River National Art Festival will be held in Punta Gorda’s Laishley Park from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Live music along the Peace River will entertain festival goers. A small donation is requested, and parking is free and ample in the area.

Artists at the Peace River National Art Festival are the creators of the original artwork they sell. Original art mediums for the show include watercolor, oil and acrylic paintings; photography, metal sculpture, jewelry, art glass, fiber/leather art, clay work, drawings, wood and mixed media.

Our featured artist, Marcus Thomas. “Enjoying life in full stride” is the optimistic view of life from featured artistMarcus Thomas. Mr. Thomas’ original life dream was to work in commercial recreation. But shortly after graduation, a tragic ski accident paralyzed him from the shoulders down.

After one year of recovery and a determined Thomas pursuit for a fulfilling life, Ihe discovered the art of painting.

He received a set of Crayola watercolors for Christmas in 1986. Without prior experience, an adventure began that has provided tremendous enjoyment. Through painting, he remains active outdoors, visually absorbing all that nature provides, documenting interests and sharing his passion for life.

Also sharing this passion is his wife, Anne. “Without her love and tireless enthusiasm, the artistic pursuits and happiness that I cherish would not be possible,” Mr. Thomas said. Having been together for 20 years, we have battled to find direction in our bizarre, difficult and sometimes chaotic life.”

An intricate part of that direction has been his wife’s incredible effort to discover methods for showing what Mr. Thomas can accomplished with a paint brush, which he wields with his mouth. The couple credits the marketing of originals, limited-edition prints and an ongoing show schedule for paving the way to Mr. Thomas’ current strength as an artist.