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Experience ‘Art in the Park’ March 11-12

By Diane Bedard Posted on February 23, 2017

The Hernando County Fine Arts Council is excited to present its very popular “Art in the Park” for the 33rd year on Saturday, March 11, from 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday, March 12, from 10 am to 4 pm at Tom Varn Park in downtown Brooksville – and you’re invited!

This celebration of arts and crafts features original artwork by over 100 fine art and craft exhibitors. Admission is free and there is a suggested donation of $5 for parking.

Art in the Park started in the small community of Masarytown in 1984 to celebrate the arts in Hernando County. Larry Whidden  worked with a small group of local artists to put the show together. It became more and more popular over the years. Finally, it grew so much that the ‘fine arts show’ had to move to Tom Varn Park in downtown Brooksville, and it continues to thrive.

Art in the Park features over 100 Fine Arts and Artists along the paved winding walkway of beautiful Tom Varn Park in Brooksville.

This year’s show features a special appearance by the Hernando Symphony Orchestra performing Pops in the Park on Saturday, March 11 from 2 to 3:30 pm. Please bring your chair and enjoy the music while surrounded by art and artists under the beautiful oaks in the lovely park.

Art in the Park is a juried art show that attracts over 100 local, state, and national fine art and craft exhibitors competing for thousands of dollars in prize money.

This shy student artist won second place for their painting in the 2013 Art in the Park.

Additionally, a juried student art show has over 300 works of art from Hernando County children ranging in age from elementary school through college level.

Families are encouraged to visit the free children’s art activity tent where young people can experiment with different mediums to create their own  masterpiece.

Art in the Park is a relaxing, family-friendly event that includes a festival food court to whet patrons’ appetites.


Art in the Park is supported in part by the following community leaders: Florida’s Adventure Coast, the City of Brooksville, Brooksville Main Street, the Tampa Bay Times, Publix, Wal-Mart, SunTrust Bank, Terlip Chiropractic, Florida Blueberry Festival, and Culture Builds Florida.

The profits from Art in the Park fund a community grant program to support the the arts in the community, including school art programs, art leagues, youth orchestras and the Hernando Symphony Orchestra, dance and music concerts, and recitals, that are open to the public.

The Brooksville Mural Society, Inc. was formed in 2001 to “Enhance the cultural and educational development of the residents of the city of Brooksville and Hernando County through the creation, development, and promotion of murals and other public artworks of regional and historical significance.”

The Fire and Police mural was done by artist Keith Goodson who explains, “The town wanted to depict the 1920’s Lafrance fire engine that used to be in service for the city. The mural was painted over the original bay doors that were sealed up with stucco. This mural comes complete with its own painted fire dog.” (from the website artwanted.com)

As of 2017, there are six murals located in downtown Brooksville; #1 -The Stroll 200I – #2 – Fire and Police 2002 #3 – Physicians 2003 #4 – Fifties Drug Store 2004 #6 – Livery Stable 2008. After enjoying Art in the Park, it is fun to walk the downtown core around the historic Hernando County courthouse and see if you can find all six.

The 33rd Annual Art in the Park is presented by the Hernando County Fine Arts Council, PO Box 1265, Brooksville, Florida 34605. The Fine Arts Council is an all volunteer organization. For more information visit www.HernandoArts.org or call 352-279-5182.


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