Published: Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 11:36 p.m. last Modified: Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 11:36 p.m.
LAKELAND | Mary Carver calls herself a Mayfaire regular.
Facts MAYFAIRE WINNERS
BEST OF SHOW: John Mascoll, Safety Harbor, wood.AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE: Judi Wood, West Palm Beach, jewelry; David David Figueroa, Sanford, sculpture.AWARDS OF DISTINCTION: Richard Auger, Summerfield, photograph; Paul Stevens, Cocoa Beach, photography; Tony Eitherong, Orlando, mixed media; Laurie Coppedge, Jacksonville, photography.MERIT AWARDS: Eluster Richardson, Tallahassee, oil & acrylic; Carolina Cleere, Tampa, mixed media; Leslie Aubrey, Plant City, clay; Deane Kellogg, St. Augustine, drawing and graphics; Steve Vaughn, Winter Park, photography; Cheryl Mackey Smith, Winter Park, mixed media.HONORABLE MENTIONS: Ana Varela, Micanopy, clay; Jeff Eckert, Tampa, drawing and graphics; Susan Ellis, Pawleys Island, S.C., fiber; Greg Jones, Lakeland, mixed media; Kathleen Dennison, Naples, jewelry.PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD: Greg Jones, Lakeland, mixed media.POLK MUSEUM OF ART PURCHASE AWARD: David David Figueroa, Sanford, sculpture.
She comes each year to look at all the art of various media, especially the jewelry and the abstract art.
"So far this year's show, I've been very impressed," said Carver, 59, of Lakeland. "There are lots of lovely things. I wish I was rich."
Carver was one of the thousands of people who walked the streets around Lake Morton enjoying the art at the MidFlorida Mayfaire by-the-Lake 2012, which continues today in Lakeland. this yearly art festival attracts artists from across the Southeast to showcase their high-end art.
"The turnout has been incredible," said Mayfaire Coordinator Brenda Friedman. "We're just incredibly excited because it's packed and the weather is nice and the artists are happy. I can't think of anything negative, it's all coming together and it's great."
This year's Mayfaire featured over 150 artists featuring work spread across 11 different mediums. The 2012 best of show award went John Mascoll, a wood artist from Safety Harbor. Mascoll was awarded $5,000.
The first-ever People's Choice Award was given to Greg Jones, a mixed media artist from Lakeland. Jones received the most votes by patrons at the festival and was awarded $500.
Mayfaire patrons were treated with fantastic weather as temperatures stayed in the 80s with partly cloudy skies. The "Bake by-the-Lake" felt more like a comfortable simmer. The newly added air-conditioned tent, where patrons could cool off and get out of the sun, was a popular spot nonetheless.
Carver said the tent was nice but the eye-popping artwork made her forget the heat.
"It's such amazing art; you just can't think of anything else, it's so beautiful," she said.
Mayfaire has become a Mother's Day tradition in Lakeland and families were everywhere. Many families could be found in the kid's zone near the bounce houses and arts and crafts stations. Cateric Davis, 39, of Lakeland, was out enjoying Mayfaire with her two daughters, Zuri and Nhayah.
"To me, I feel that they have more adult involvement with their families," Davis said about the kid's zone. "[Mayfaire] is the perfect place for families to come out. It's not just for the kids, but for the families to enjoy it, too."
Carver and several other artists said the weather seemed to put everyone at ease with each other.
"I've noticed that a lot of the patrons are super friendly, Carver said. "If you're standing around a booth, a lot of times people don't chit-chat."
Friedman said artists and patrons gave her nothing but positive feedback about this year's Mayfaire.
"I heard one person mention, ‘I'm seeing people I haven't seen in 15 years,' and I thought that was a neat thing," Friedman said. "It's just a great community event, it's free it's great for everybody.
Mayfare by-the-Lake continues today from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
[ Matt Reinstetle can be reached at or 802-7533. ]
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