24th Annual Florida CraftArt Festival 2021 features top artists

The 24th Annual Florida CraftArt Festival on Saturday, Nov. 20 and Sunday, Nov. 21 is a destination for tourists and local visitors to enjoy a fun-filled weekend. Local artist John Mascoll will be one of many artists featured next weekend.

ST. PETERSBURG — The 24th Annual Florida CraftArt Festival on Saturday, Nov. 20 and Sunday, Nov. 21 is a destination for tourists and local visitors to enjoy a fun-filled, visually exciting Florida weekend. Collectors and art lovers will be delighted by the creations of 100 of the nation’s best contemporary fine craft artists from twelve states.

There will be artist demonstrations, food trucks, craft beers, and a kids’ art activity tent. The two-day festival kicks off the holiday shopping season and features handmade works in ceramics, fiberglass, jewelry, metal, mixed media, and wood.

Florida CraftArt Festival 2021 will be located just outside the Florida CraftArt Gallery at the crossroads of Central Avenue and Fifth Street in downtown St. Pete. The Residences at 400 Central – Red Apple Real Estate is the presenting sponsor, while Duncan McClellan Gallery sponsors the kids’ activities. Children will enjoy creating crafts taught by Tampa Bay Surface Design Guild members.

Judge Bill May, former executive director of Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, will award the artists $10,000 in cash awards on Sunday morning. Interested fine craft collectors can register for the Collectors’ Circle and commit to purchasing artists’ work in advance of the festival, award their chosen artist(s) with a plaque, and receive other valuable festival benefits.

For information about the Collector’s Circle, please call Janie Lorenz at (727) 821-7391.

Local artist John Mascoll seen here woodturning.

One local artist featured at the Florida CraftArt Festival will be John Mascoll from Safety Harbor. Born and raised in Barbados, his father was a shipwright and provided his initial experience in woodworking — teaching him the beauty and workability of the material. He quickly learned how to use finely tuned woodworking tools to develop his wood-working skills.

Mascoll attended a university in Barbados on a track scholarship. In 1976, he moved to the United States to attend Vanderbilt University in Tennessee. From there, he went to Fisk University in Nashville for four years as an All-American athlete. With bachelor’s degrees in physics and civil engineering from Fisk and Vanderbilt Universities, he began a construction engineer and manager career.

In 1989, Mascoll started a new career in woodturning after purchasing a Shopsmithâ, which is a motorized machine with multipurpose functions such as lathe turning, table saw, sander, and drill press. He watched a man demonstrate turning a fruit bowl and thought to himself that he, too, could do that.

Obayana Ajanaku will be on hand with his one-of-a-kind handcrafted sculptured jewelry fabricated using mixed metals of sterling silver, 14K and 18K gold bi-metals garnished with various stones and mokume gane (wood-grained metal).

This led him to take a new approach by innovatively utilizing a lathe, crafting the various woods into forms and shapes more efficiently and adding delicate finials and covers to accessorize and enhance each piece.

He works in a tight space in the garage of his family home in Safety Harbor, where he can produce about 200 fine craft pieces in a year. In 1994, he exhibited his work in an outdoor art festival for the first time and won a merit award. Since then, he has often won Best of Show awards.

Florida CraftArt Festival will also showcase the talents of eight emerging artists with the support of the DMG School Project, as Florida CraftArt engages and mentors the next generation of fine craft artists. Emerging Artists receive a free booth, photography, postcards, and the opportunity to show and sell their work.

Festival hours are 10-5 p.m. on Saturday and 10-4 p.m. on Sunday. To learn more about the 24th Annual Florida CraftArt, visit FloridaCraftArt.org.

The Florida CraftArt Festival 2021 is sponsored by The Residences at 400 Central – Red Apple Real Estate, Raymond James, Duncan McClellan Gallery, DMG School Project, Tricera Capital, St. Petersburg Arts Alliance, Regions Bank, Duke Energy, St. Pete/Clearwater International Airport, Brian James Photography, The City of St. Petersburg, State of Florida Division of Art and Culture, Tampa Bay Times, Creative Loafing and WUSF.

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