FlorenceFest ruled a success

Wine — Art — Jazz Festival returned for second year

May 2, 2018 — The second annual FlorenceFest, a unique combination of art, wine and jazz at the Florence Events Center last weekend, proved itself as a premier celebration of art on the coast.

This year built upon the initial efforts of 2017’s inaugural event.

Jon Thompson, owner of Coast Radio and founder of the event, points to the team effort required to stage the festival as the key ingredient to success.

“A lot of people put in a tremendous amount of work on this festival and I think it shows,” he said. “The feedback continues to be overwhelmingly positive from those who attended the event — which means there will be plenty of discussion about next year’s event, set for the last weekend in April 2019.”

The weekend involved star-quality jazz performances, wine from 12 regional vineyards and an Art Show and Sale hosted by Florence Regional Arts Alliance (FRAA).

“Personally, I’m most pleased by the Art Show and Sale,” Thompson said. “The quality of art and the number of entries increased over last year and we feel like there is good momentum in our effort to become a premier art event on the Oregon Coast.”

FRAA member Harlen Springer was a member of the FlorenceFest team and helped coordinate the art aspect of the weekend. He said that the artists presenting at the festival were varied and compelling.

“The juried art show at FlorenceFest was very successful. A wide variety of high quality artwork in all mediums was displayed,” he said.

According to Springer, Oregon artists came from Florence, Portland, Eugene and the North and South coasts, as well as five other states. There were seven categories of awards.

“Visitors to the events center reacted very positively to the work shown, as a significant amount of the artwork displayed was sold during the show,” Springer said.

The positive response from the crowd attending FlorenceFest extended beyond the appreciation of art into enjoyment for the talented musicians who performed and to the vintners who made the trip to connect with the many wine aficionados in attendance.

“Next year, we want to focus on our local artists and get more of our local talent into the show, while continuing to attract entries from around country,” Thompson said.

More information is available online at florencefestoregon.com.