Miniature Art Society of Florida presents its 44th annual exhibition at the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art | Deviations


TARPON SPRINGS – The Miniature Art Society of Florida will present its 44th annual International Exhibition of Miniature Art, which opens Sunday, January 20 at 1 p.m. at the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art, 600 Klosterman Road, Tarpon Springs.

The exhibition will continue until Sunday February 10 and will feature a spectacular display of miniatures – not only paintings, but also scrimshaw, baked porcelain, pastel, colored pencils and sculptures. The exhibition will include works created by some of the best artists from around the world. With few exceptions, all art is for sale.

Over 800 works of art will be on display, including the society’s popular permanent collection of over 100 miniatures. Visitors will find that the work is well lit. Magnifying glasses are attached to all screens, so guests can see the exquisite and detailed treasures.

The works selected by the Miniature Art Society come from 30 states and seven different countries. The show offers a wonderful diversity of subjects and settings. This is a juried show and the jury is made up of five award-winning miniaturists, who have carefully selected the best works to exhibit. This year’s exhibition features 155 artists, including 18 new this year. More than 55 prizes are awarded to the selected works. The prizes will be awarded during a brunch on Sunday, January 20.

From Tuesday January 22 to Sunday February 10, visitors will have the opportunity to discover how artists create these miniature treasures. Artists will be on hand, working on new pieces at the museum, allowing guests to talk to them and learn about their work. Most artists create under magnification, using a variety of mediums, methods, and the smallest of brushes. These artists can come from England or Canada as well as various American states. Local Florida artists are also represented.

Since 1976, the Miniature Art Society of Florida has recognized the importance of supporting young students with artistic talent. The first funding program provided financial assistance for art education to elementary and secondary school students. In 1985, the society decided that it was necessary to establish annual scholarships for high school seniors pursuing studies in the fine arts. To date, MASF has awarded over $134,500 in fine arts scholarships to over 122 qualified high school graduates. Some of these students began to participate in the society’s miniature shows.

Paul Eaton from Surrey, UK was one of this year’s distinguished judges. His love and study of wildlife allowed him to produce sculptures of animals and birds with finished detail. His work has earned him numerous awards. He is a goldsmith and goldsmith.

Eaton will be present at the awards brunch. He will also show visitors how he makes his sculptures and casts on Tuesday, January 22 during the show. Each piece is individual, unique and finished by hand.

‘Stillwater Spoonbill’, by Ernest C. Simmons of Dunedin, was this year’s work chosen to be part of the MASF’s permanent collection.

According to her website, Simmons produces iconic works of art based on her innate knowledge of the laws of nature in tandem with a meticulous touch at the easel.

The artist reached a turning point in his career in 1980 when his portrait of the northern pintail in flight was chosen as the winner of the Florida Duck Stamp competition. He was at the time the youngest artist to win a duck stamp competition in this country.

In 1997, Simmons was selected as Artist of the Year by Florida Ducks Unlimited. In 1999 and 2000 he was commissioned by the Florida National Parks and Monuments Association to paint the Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Parks. Through his tireless efforts and continued dedication to wildlife, Simmons’ paintings have raised thousands of dollars for scientific, educational, historical and visitor service programs.

Linda Wacaster of Midlothian, Texas won Best in Show for “Going to the River.”

Wacaster is a native Texan who lives with her husband Jerry. According to her website, her creative adventures have taken her from Russia to Rome and many other destinations. Even when she’s not visiting an exotic location, she recognizes that she’s surrounded by beauty everywhere she looks. She finds her inspiration in places like Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota.

The creative process is truly a passion that drives Wacaster to continually view each new subject as an opportunity to learn. She believes the challenges of painting are endless. Her attention to detail and her unique qualities of color, light and form are crucial to her. With each piece, she strives to reach the viewer with the sense that they are seeing and feeling what she was experiencing – that day, in that place.

Here is a list of some of the top winners of the 44th Annual International Exhibition of Miniature Art:

  • MAA Achievement Award – Joan Humble, Tasmania, Australia: “Mt. Murchison, Western, Australia »
  • Excellence in all Entries – Gini Harris, Gauteng, South Africa: “Ethnic Head Scarf”
  • Best Work by a First Entrant – Sue deLearie Adair, Schenectady, New York: “Woodland Critter”
  • Best work by a young artist – Morgane Antoine, Chatenay-Malabry, France: “Reaching young shoots”
  • Best Cat Award – Linda Rossin, Oak Ridge, New Jersey: “As Evening Comes”

Here is a list of other awards given to Florida artists:

  • Acrylic, second place: Ernest Simmons
  • Acrylic, honorable mention: Carol Rockwell
  • Oil, first place: Lynn Wade
  • Transparent Watercolor, Third Place: Denise Horne-Kaplan
  • Animals, honorable mention: Cathleen Martinetto
  • Birds, third place: Tykie Ganz
  • Exterior/Architecture, First Place: Cheiko Bromley
  • Landscape, first place: Charles Rowe
  • Landscape, second place: Leland Williams
  • Landscape, honorable mention: Helen Mathyssen-Dobbins
  • Navy, second place: Carol Grice-Curran

The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday; and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is $7 for adults and $6 for seniors. Admission is free for LRMA and MASF members, students with ID, children 17 and under, and active military with ID.

For more information about the museum, call 727-712-5762. For more information about MASF, visit


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