in Press Release,Special Events

Village of the Arts
1227 12th St. W, Bradenton, FL 34205
April 20, 11am-4pm
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The Village of the Arts is celebrating Earth Day this year with a self-guided tour of gardens, studios, galleries, and businesses that are incorporating eco-friendly practices into their art, yards, businesses and lifestyles. This tour marks the first annual EcoFest and will be held in the Village on Saturday, April 20 from 11am-4pm.

The theme for the 2019 Earth Day international celebration is Protect Our Species. Artists and residents throughout the Village of the Arts have embraced this theme for EcoFest to spotlight efforts to provide healthy habitats for native pollinator insects and bats. During the tour, visitors can visit gardens, and hunt for bird houses, bee hotels and bat boxes that have been installed throughout the Village. including a native pollinator garden at 14th Avenue West Studio with artfully embellished bee boxes built by artists Gene Tenery and Michael Zucker. Master gardeners from the UF/IFAS Extension will be on hand from 11am-2pm at Fun Girl Art to discuss native plants and flowers and answer questions about eco-friendly gardening practices.

In the galleries, visitors can view a wide variety of art that Villagers and other local artists have created using reclaimed, repurposed, and salvaged materials. Art Junkies and ReWorked Creations are two galleries devoted exclusively to reuse art (artwork created primarily with repurposed, discarded and found materials).  Other galleries that feature artists using reclaimed materials are The Dancing Crane Gallery, Brave Gal Arts, Fun Girl Art, P&V Art House, Sally’s Studio and Divine Excess Folk Art Gallery. New outdoor community art installations using recycled materials can be viewed at Fun Girl Art (bottle cap portrait) and The Dancing Crane Gallery (Art Goddess sculpture).

Some galleries and studios use natural materials in their work, or use scraps generated during their creative process as the source material for additional projects. At Bits and Pieces quilt fabric shop, owner Linda Bronkema uses scraps of 100% cotton fabric left over from her quilt art to create dog beds and cat mats for an animal shelter. Priscilla Kline at Ewe and Eye Gallery uses natural fibers such as wool, mohair, alpaca and cotton in her fiber art, and used scraps of yarn during the creation of an outdoor yarn bomb installation on a tree along the sidewalk outside the gallery.

Several galleries will host interactive activities during the tour including chalk art at Ewe and Eye Galley, an artist demo by Mark Burrow at Art Junkies, bee hotel decorating at Fun Girl Art, and Make and Take projects at ReWorked Creations and Brave Gal Arts.

The restaurants in the Village also contribute to efforts to promote sustainability and reduce the carbon imprint within the Village of the Arts. The chefs often source fruits and vegetables from the local farmers markets and can sometimes be seen on a Saturday walking to and from the Bradenton Farmer’s Market on Old Main St. to buy fresh produce for the day’s menu. Birdrock Taco Shack uses compostable birchwood and bamboo plates and silverware that break down in 45 days in a landfill or when composted. Birdrock will also be hosting their first annual 4.20 Shindig during EcoFest with a menu featuring hemp beer, tamales and frito pies.

The EcoFest tour will be self-guided. Tour information will be uploaded to the VOTA website and posted on social media available for downloading prior to the event and will also be available as handouts during EcoFest.