Membership information, call to artists and more

Published on: August 25, 2016


SouthShore Arts Council announces

important upcoming events


LISA STARK PHOTO Muralist Michael Parker, president of SAC, maintains his active art and teaching studio in Ruskin.

Muralist Michael Parker, president of SAC, maintains his active art and teaching studio in Ruskin.

Last week the SouthShore Arts Council (SAC) released plans for several upcoming community events. Mark your calendars, as the opportunities for artists and supporters of the arts are many and varied.

• The Annual SouthShore Arts Council Member’s Show at SouthShore Library is from Aug. 31 through Oct. 28, and is calling for artists to enter and show the community their artwork.

The show is open to all residents of the South Shore area for all wall art, in any medium. Up to two pieces per artist. New this year: Show duration is two months. The SouthShore Regional Library is at 15816 Beth Shields Way, Ruskin.

Interested candidates should email with your name, phone number and email address. Include the title and approximate size for each piece; maximum of two pieces.

Art drop-off is at the SouthShore Regional Library on Wednesday, Aug. 31, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. The artwork will be hung on the Community Boards, located at the center of the library.

• The Art Instructor’s Show and SouthShore Arts Council Member’s Show dual reception will be on Thursday, Sept. 8, at 6 p.m. at the SouthShore Regional Library. Artists and supporters can attend the shows and meet the talented local artists and art instructors.

• For those who are not familiar with the SouthShore Arts Council, here are some facts about their organization that you should know:

Since its inception, SAC has given its members 37 opportunities to exhibit work at various locations throughout the community.

SAC has distributed $48,046 in Community Arts projects and $36,431 in Artist Fees paid to local and visiting artists. SAC distributed $15,452 in awards to local students and high school art departments.

SAC sponsored the Big Draw Studio (BDS) from Nov. 2010 through April 2014, and the Big Draw Studio distributed $7,490 in payment to local artists during this time. This space was also used by Florida Institute for Community Studies (FICS), offering the Prodigy Break Dancing sessions for community youth outreach, participation and as an intervention program. FICS paid monthly rent to BDS to use the space.

SAC supported the Firehouse Cultural Center in the amount of $9,592 in the form of donations from calendar sales and fundraising events; sponsorship of three visiting artists with target grant monies; and partnership of three Big Draw Events (soon to be four).

Overall, the SAC has presented eight Big Draw Events to the general public for free attendance, and will soon be sponsoring number nine.

SAC produced three community murals, one documentary titled South County and various other community art projects based out of the Big Draw Studio.

This has all been possible with grant money from the John & Elizabeth Crawford Fund from the Community Foundation of Greater Sun City Center, now the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay; Target, Inc.; The Renaissance Center for the Arts; The Arts Council of Hillsborough County; support from USF; Tampa Museum of Art; Very Special Arts (VSA); Kings Point Art Club; and member donations.

• Mark your calendars for The 2016 Big Draw. The Big Draw is a free art event and is part of the world’s largest drawing festival. This year’s theme is “The STEAM-Powered Big Draw Festival” and will include many activities combining art with science, technology, engineering and math. It promises to be a free, fun, family event for all ages. It will be at the Firehouse Cultural Center, 101 1st Ave. N.E., Ruskin from 2 to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1. For more information, visit

• The 25th Annual Manatee Festival of the Arts will be held on March 11 and 12, 2017, at E.G.Simmons Park, Ruskin.

The artist application is now available for the 25th annual Apollo Beach Manatee Festival of the Arts.

The artist application is online at

More information can be found on the SouthShore Chamber of Commerce website at

Membership in the SouthShore Arts Council is free. For more information on how to join, email, or write to SouthShore Arts Council, P.O. Box 1613, Ruskin, FL 33575.

Keep informed of art happenings in the South County area by following SAC on Facebook at

To view the original film South County, visit

To view the video of the  Inaugural Big Draw in 2008, go to and search for: Ruskin Big Draw-In.

All information provided by the 2016 SouthShore Arts Council. (SAC).