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John Scheffel
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

February 29,2020

50th Annual Raymond James Gasparilla Festival of the Arts Announces Winners

Tampa, Fla. – Selecting from a field of more than 250 acclaimed artists, juror Paul Galloway of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, selected the recipients of the 50th Annual Raymond James Gasparilla Festival of the Arts. $80,000 in award monies were awarded to the participating artists, including the $15,000 Raymond James Financial Best of Show Award.

“The Gasparilla Festival of the Arts has really impressed me with the breadth, quality and diversity of the works on view. It offers a wide range of approaches to art making, from in depth engagements with craft to contemporary issues. The festival is an incredibly impressive and rewarding experience,” said Paul Galloway.

“We are honored to have Paul Galloway as our festival juror for our 50th anniversary year. We love our new location at Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park,” said John Scheffel, President of the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts, “It offers a stunning environment to showcase these amazing works of art from so many talented artists from across the country, as well as bring the Tampa Bay community together to celebrate and be inspired by art.”

In addition to the award winners, the Tampa Museum of Art has selected “Arroyo # 9155”, mixed media, by Kevin Knittel to be added to their permanent collection.

The winners of the 50th Annual Raymond James Gasparilla Festival of the Arts are:

Raymond James Financial Best of Show Award ($15,000)

Dennis Peterson, St. Marys, OH | “Hirukan V”, Wood

Board of Directors Award ($9,000)

Nicario Jimenez, Naples, FL | “Immigration: The Daily Struggle”, Mixed Media

Roddy Brownlee Reed Award of Artistic Excellence ($5,000)

Nneka Jones, Tampa, FL | “Shooting Range Target”, Mixed Media

Mayor’s Award ($4,000)

R. Michael Wommack, Langhorne, PA | “A Sense of Infinitude”, Drawing

President’s Award ($3,000)

Cheryl Mackey Smith, Fairview, NC | “Folds: Wings to Fly”, Ceramic

50th Anniversary Award ($2,000)

David Figueroa, Sanford, FL | “Growing Structure III”, Sculpture

B. T. Videtto Emerging Artist Award ($1,500)

Erin Oliver | “Karst Water”, Mixed Media

5 Studios Award of Merit ($1,300)

Jian Deng, Roslyn, NY | “Crab Farmer”, Photography

Amgen Inc. Award of Merit ($1,300)

Kristi Hyde, Atlanta, GA | “Divination”, Jewelry

Annie Marie Campbell & Sam Giunta Award of Merit ($1,300)

Rachel Adamiak, New Orleans, LA | “Multi Resin Petal Necklace”, Jewelry

api(+) Award of Merit ($1,300)

Chris Rom / Geoff Buddie, Swanton, OH | “Dart”, Mixed Media

ARTicles Art Gallery Award of Merit ($1,300)

Kevin Knittel, Wesley Chapel, FL | “Arroyo # 9155”, Mixed Media

DMG School Project Award of Merit ($1,300)

Andrew Madvin, Detroit, MI | “Iris Thorn”, Glass

FIRVA Capital Management Award of Merit ($1,300)

Gillian Kemper, Oklahoma City, OK | “Ravine”, Printmaking

Freese and Nichols, Inc. Award of Merit ($1,300)

Steve Uren, Grand Rapids, MI | “One Step Beyond”, Wood

GFA Emeritus Presidents Award of Merit ($1,300)

Jeff Eckert, Tampa, FL | “Sales Are Through the Roof”, Drawing

GFA Founders Award of Merit ($1,300)

Jeremy Griffith, Murphysboro, IL | “ Microcosom”, Glass

Harbinger Signs Award of Merit ($1,300)

Lina Auste, St. Petersburg, FL | “Coral”, Glass

In Memory of Adrienne & William O’Dowd Award of Merit ($1,300)

Melissa FInelli, Boston, MA | “Not So Tiny Bubbles”, Jewelry

J.J. Taylor Distributing Co. & Cigar City Brewing Award of Merit ($1,300)

C.W. Banfield, Howell, MI | “Antiqua Via, SC”, Photography

Jenkins Family Award of Merit ($1,300)

William Kidd, Lakeland, FL | “Untitled”, Ceramic

Jane and Vance Arnett Award of Merit ($1,300)

Adam Crowell, Bonneau, SC | “Songa”, Wood

Jennifer Malin and Marc Dahl Award of Merit ($1,300)

Leslie Peebles, Gainesville, FL | “Old Growth Giant”, Printmaking

Harold Scheffel Memorial Award of Merit ($1,300)

Cali Hobgood, Urbana, IL | “Blue Mask”, Photography

Kelly M. Klein Memorial Award of Merit ($1,300)

Wendy Zoschke, Springfield, IL | “Paisley”, Jewelry

Lindsay M. Marano Memorial Award of Merit ($1,300)

Glenn Woods, Palm Harbor, FL | “Bottle with Nickel Crystalline Glaze”, Ceramic

Juanita Cacioppo Award of Merit ($1,300)

Richard Currier, Micco, FL | “Solution Far Horizon”, Painting

Michael C. Gribbin, D.M.D. General & Cosmetic Dentistry Award of Merit ($1,300)

Spoon, Decatur, GA | “Shadows”, Painting

Oxford Exchange Award of Merit ($1,300)

Tina Leto, Chicago, IL | “Florida Thiste”, Photography

Red Fox Delivery Award of Merit ($1,300)

Bruce Peeso, Monson, MA | “Yesterday”, Painting

Shumaker, Loop and Kendrick Award of Merit ($1,300)

Kim Amell, Boone, NC | “Stormy & Wild”, Mixed Media

The Bank of Tampa Award of Merit ($1,300)

David Oleski, West Chester, PA | “Seven Lemons”, Painting

Tampa International Airport Award of Merit ($1,300)

Mark MacKinnon, Wappingers Falls, NY | “Hanuama Bay”, Photography

The Barrymore Hotel Tampa Riverwalk Award of Merit ($1,300)

William Kwamena-Poh, Savanna, GA | “Deborah’s Praise”, Watercolor

Tampa Electric and TECO People’s Gas Award of Merit ($1,300)

Bobby Goldsmith, Perkinston, MS | “Winter Barn”, Drawing

Wells Fargo Award of Merit ($1,300)

Henri Clifton, Chicago, IL | “The Neighborhood Watch”, Photography

Zukku Sushi Award of Merit ($1,300)

Phillip Singer, New Britain, PA | “The Outsider”, Painting

Lightning Foundation Scholastic Showcase Award ($1,000)

Lexi White | “Untitled”, Mixed Media

Lightning Foundation Scholastic Showcase High School Representative Award ($500)

Venice High School | “Untitled”, Mixed Media

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About GFA: The Raymond James Gasparilla Festival of the Arts is one of the top outdoor juried fine arts shows in the United States, showcasing a wide variety of art mediums and price points. Beyond the art, there’s something for everyone, including live music, culinary attractions and areas designed for children and families. Admission is free. Held each spring in early March, artists and art lovers from all parts of the country migrate annually to the Raymond James Gasparilla Festival of the Arts, where the country’s most accomplished artists and rising stars vie for the $15,000 Raymond James Best of Show Award and an additional $77,000 in prize money. The Festival draws tens of thousands of people to the 25-acre Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park in downtown Tampa. GFA has been a must-see event for art lovers for more than 50 years. 

Ajeva

Ajeva is a funk/rock band from St. Petersburg, FL. The band started in 2013 and features Reed Skahill (vocals), Taylor Gilchrist (bass), Mike Nivens (guitar), and Lyndon Thacker (keys). They’ve carved out a sound of their own with epic melodies and distinctive vocals that pair perfectly with their deep grooves. Each Ajeva show is a one of a kind experience with the band taking their songs to different places and new heights every night.

Light the Wire

Light the Wire makes heartfelt, indie-folk rock that with powerful vocal harmonies, thoughtful lyrics, and powered by driving bass and drums.  The quintet is based out of Tampa, FL, and released its self-produced, debut EP – “Someday Is Coming” on all streaming platforms on November 1, 2023.

Giorgi

Rock musician that refuses to find a niche

GA & FL

FFO: Foo Fighters, Jimmy Eat World

Mwiza

Biggest influences are church, his mother, Coheed & Cambria, Acceptance, James Morrison, Bombay Bicycle Club, Disturbed, Arctic Monkeys, Young The Giant, Chevelle, Rusko, Chief and Matt Corby. Most of the music he listens to has a darker sound to it so he in turn makes darker, melodic music.

Datagram

Datagram has been the moniker of shapeshifting Tampa musician Scott Olson for the better part of the last decade.

In that time, the sound and styles of this project have shifted and morphed, painting with shades of glitch, downtempo, techno, and all that lurks in between.

Shevonne and the Force

A multi-hyphenate, genre-bending artist, Shevonne Philidor is a singer-songwriter, producer, and actress who epitomizes her dynamic background in music and performing arts. A military brat born in Philadelphia, PA, she experienced living in multiple cities – including a stint in Italy – before landing in Tampa, Fl, where she nurtured her musical ability throughout her childhood. She’s a scion of a musical family stemming from her half-Haitian descent and taught herself to play the guitar at an early age, inspired by the likes of Prince, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Lauryn Hill, Bob Marley, and M83. In 2003, she made her first TV debut on America’s Most Talented Kids, and in 2010, she made an appearance on America’s Got Talent Wild Card. A recipient of the prestigious NFAA scholarship, she also made American Idol’s top 40 twice in 2016 and 2019, the same year she performed at Austin City Limits with five-time Grammy award-winning artist Gary Clark jr. In 2021, she performed alongside CeeLo Green at a Superbowl party for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and was tapped to sing for ABC’s Juneteenth celebration with T.I. and Domani. Working with Grand Hustle Records, she’s a Luna Guitar-endorsed artist who was also selected to perform in Just Blaze’s SXSW showcase in 2022. A theatre kid at heart, she’s flexed her acting skills on a national tour for Todrick Hall’s musical, Oz The Musical, and she was also recently casted in Life’s Rewards, an upcoming Amazon Prime TV show.

Kristopher James

Though he’s lived in the Sunshine State, for most of his life, Kristopher’s talent for melody and song (now) extend far past the state’s line. Like his influencers Otis Redding, Amos Lee, and Roberta Flack, Kristopher’s voice is clear, controlled, and full of all-the-feels.  As with all artists, Kristopher’s sound has ebbed and flowed, evolving yet remaining instantly recognizable. With the growth he’s experienced as an artist, Kristopher felt it was time to capture his songs, in their fully-imagined sound!

With his debut album “Kindness Never Quits”, featuring members of Scary Pockets, Kristopher caught the attention of Relix & Glide Magazine, Spotify Playlist curators and continued praise, such as “vocals are so powerful and as the song progresses, he showcases why he is one of the best singers out there. All that soul in one artist is just unbelievable” from Reignland Magazine.

Continuing through the COVID years, Kristopher partnered with musicians to keep the music and community alive. Along with composer and keys player Mike Hicks of Rascal Flatts, The War & Treaty’s Max Brown on guitar, as well as talented artists Kyshona Armstrong, Jonathan Huber, DeMarco Johnson, Kristopher released 3 acclaimed singles: “Never Had to Find Our Way”, “Feelings” and “I Can Only Love You in a Song”

Deaf Company

Three piece Rock n Roll band hailing from St. Petersburg, FL.

Skyler Golden

Musician from St. Pete Florida and Studio Producer for Zen Recording. Brings an eclectic sound of string instruments for the Yoga Classes at GFA 2024

SydLive

From Tampa Florida, SydLive was born to write and sing songs that touch the world. As her mother recalls, her climb to stardom began with getting on top of restaurant tables to sing at the age of two.

By the time she was eleven, she acquired her first guitar and began to teach herself to play by learning Beatles songs. Within four years she found her way to the stage singing in a Carpenters tribute band. Since this time, Syd has amassed over a decade of experience as a professional singer/songwriter and recording/performance artist. Within the industry, she names Aretha Franklin as her idol.

DURRY

The first sound you hear on Durry’s rambunctious and poignant debut album, Suburban Legend, is an old-school Internet dial-up tone. To songwriter Austin Durry, the sound is instantly familiar but his bandmate and sister, Taryn, hadn’t heard it before. The Burnsville, Minnesota-based duo might identify with different age groups — with seven years between them, Austin is a millennial and Taryn is Gen Z — but by joining forces in Durry, they show just how much the neighboring generations have in common.

Between their serendipitous origin story and a crop of dynamic, hook-heavy alt-pop tracks, Durry are doing something few bands can achieve — and they’re doing it entirely on their own terms. As a band, Taryn and Austin’s journey happened both unexpectedly and fortuitously. At the start of the COVID pandemic, Austin and his wife moved back into his parents’ house, where Taryn was also living at the time. In addition to moving back in with his family, COVID forced Austin to cancel an extensive tour with his previous band, Coyote Kid. Faced with nothing but time, he got back to songwriting, regularly asking Taryn for input — or as the two playfully put it, “Gen Z quality control.”

“I’d say, here’s an early concept, what do you think? Then she’ll steer the ship, and then I’ll evolve it from there,” Austin explains. “Taryn is the sounding board and Gen Z vision of the band, where I’m kinda cranking stuff out.”

As they got going, forming what would turn into Durry, the siblings also outlined DIY ideas for branding and promotion, creating all of their own content and imbuing their visuals with nostalgic golden yellow, large fonts, and tactile images that would later make their way into eye-catching merch.

The immediate result of their musical partnership was the pop-punk/alternative anthem “Who’s Laughing Now,” which leads with wry, tongue-in-cheek lyrics about the futility of young adulthood in 2023: “My mama always said I would regret it if I ever got a tattoo,” Austin chants, adding: “She said I’d never get a job like I ever wanted one with that attitude/ My dad said I had to learn to drive a stick shift, but every van I ever had was an automatic/ My friends said that someday I would make it big, but I’m still living in the basement.”

After posting an unfinished version of “Who’s Laughing Now” on TikTok, it swiftly took off, galvanizing thousands of viewers who shared their coming-of-age frustrations. Clearly, the song’s sentiments — which land somewhere between a shrug and a clenched fist — resonated with millions of listeners, and today the song has garnered more than four million Spotify streams. Meanwhile, Durry have recorded a fully fleshed-out version of “Who’s Laughing Now,” which is set to appear on their riveting, perfectly sardonic debut LP, Suburban Legend.