Visitors to Wekiva Island or Wekiwa Springs State Park might be used to seeing kayakers, canoers, paddleboarders, swimmers or even gators and otters splashing around the river. But from February 28 to March 5, 2022, they’ll be seeing canvases, palettes, paint brushes and easels dotting the river’s banks and boardwalks.
The Wekiva Paint Out is back for the 16th year.
The event draws world-class artists from around Florida and the U.S. who stay at the state park for the week and create incredible works of art en plein air from the gorgeous surroundings. Those works (some still wet!) populate a pop-up gallery at Wekiva Island and are available to view and purchase fresh from the easel.
Proceeds benefit the Wekiva Wilderness Trust and Keep Seminole Beautiful to encourage future protection of the river and its surroundings.
“This is such a unique event, both for our area and for art lovers,” said Mary Sue Weinaug, the event’s organizer. “The Wekiva River is always absolutely stunning, but it’s mesmerizing to see it through these artists’ eyes. The works they create are one-of-a-kind, and it’s all happening right in our backyard in Central Florida.”
Visitors can watch artists work from Monday, February 28, to Friday, March 4, around Wekiva Island and Wekiwa Springs State Park. They can also tour the gallery at Wekiva Island, which features new works daily, from February 28 through March 5.
The Wekiva Paint Out also includes special events:
- The Live Auction from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, March 2. Guests can bid—and maybe get a deal—on pieces of art from each artist during this fast-paced, exciting evening.
- Evening Nocturne Painting and Pasta Bar from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, March 4. Enjoy this special from Without a Paddle Café for $12.95/person and watch as the artists paint in the starlight at Wekiva Island.
- The Quick Draw event from 12 to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 5. Amateur artists are welcome to try their hand at creating a masterpiece alongside the pros to win cash prizes for $25/entry.
- The All-Inclusive Gala celebration from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, March 5. Celebrate an amazing week of art and tour the gallery, meet the artists and enjoy live music, food and drink for $40/person or $70/couple.
There are sponsorship opportunities for businesses and organizations as well as patron opportunities for individuals, which include tickets to special events throughout the week.
In addition to celebrating art, Weinaug said, the week is meant to support sustainability, two core tenets of Wekiva Island.
Keep Seminole Beautiful sponsors regular river cleanups on the Wekiva. The Wekiva Wilderness Trust is a volunteer organization that supports the state park. The group aims to build a Serenity Garden at Wekiwa Springs State Park meant to create a unique sensory experience for people of all abilities and those with special needs.
For more information about the Wekiva Paint Out, visit the official site.