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Artists go "WILD" for Myakka River State Park

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Evelyn McCorristin Peters: Artists go "WILD" for Myakka River State Park

Evelyn McCorristin Peters

Fine art for everyone


Artists go "WILD" for Myakka River State Park

Myakka River State Park has been a beloved hiking, fishing, camping and wildlife observation destination for decades.
It’s also a favorite place for artists.
To show their appreciation, many of the region’s finest creators of visual beauty will be in attendance selling their works via silent auction at the second annual “Wild: Artists & Animals of Myakka” benefit.

The $35 event takes place Sunday at the park’s South Pavilion and features “eclectic Southern food and drink” and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. the artwork will be on display for free at same location.

Host, The Friends of Myakka River, regularly partners with the Florida Park Service to assist, protect, restore and preserve the 57 square miles of wetlands, prairies and woodlands that spans Manatee and Sarasota Counties.
“I live 5 miles from the park and I’m there almost everyday,” said “Wild” exhibit curator Evelyn McCorristin-Peters. “We must preserve this for future generations.
“There are so many species disappearing and I’ve seen incredible things there. It’s really important to keep The Friends of Myakka River going — it’s one of the best in the state at helping parks.”
Fifty percent of all artwork sales this weekend go to The Friends of Myakka River.

Contributing artists include master black-and-white photographer Clyde Butcher, who maintains galleries in Ochopee and Venice.
Attendees will also be able to purchase a painting by Florence Putterman, a National Endowment Grant recipient.
And pastel specialist Craig Rubadoux should have no problem helping the park and its “Wild Scenic Myakka River” with his work.

In all, about 20 artists are showing paintings, original prints, drawing, photographs and sculptures that depict the fauna of the Myakka wilderness. Participants were asked to submit works that departed from the standard wildlife art.
In addition to serving as curator, McCorristin-Peters will also have an oil on canvas for sale titled “A Barred Owl Skull” (opening bid of $200).
“I actually found the skull in the park on one of my walks,” she said.
At last’s year’s inaugural “Wild” benefit, 75 percent of the works were purchased, raising more than $5,000 for the park.
McCorristin-Peters sold her paintings a “Dancing Manatee” ($300) and “Snapping Turtle Two” ($175).
“It’s nice to know you’re being recognized and raising money for the park,” she said.
Established in 1934, Myakka River State Park offers a form of tropical escapism rarely found these days in the highly developed Sunshine State.
Parks hours are 8 a.m. to sunset daily. Entrance fees are $6 per vehicle for two to eight persons. Attractions include everything from air boat rides to narrated tram tours.
Numerous animals can be spotted from the tree-top canopy walk and 7 miles of paved bike trails as well as the 39 miles of hiking trails.
Observe ancient alligators on the river trail or while in the canoe/kayak.
Get lucky and maybe you’ll spot a Florida panther.
“I moved back down here eight years ago from Delaware and was so happy to find the park,” McCorristin-Peters said. “As an artist, it has been a real inspiration.”
Wade Tatangelo, features writer/columnist, can be reached at 745-7057. Visit his blog at



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds wonderful! I am a native Floridian (now living in Washington but missing home) and a long time Clyde Butcher fan. Hope the show is a success!

March 25, 2011 at 1:14 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Bonnie, I wish you could be here as well, some fantastic artists here to support a good cause! I'm from the Northeast originally and I think no matter where we end up we always miss home, it doesn't make any difference if we like the new place we are better than home. Home is well just "home" and a good place in our heart.

March 25, 2011 at 6:45 PM  

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