Sawgrass members, staff exhibit art in annual show


Last weekend, a large room in the Sawgrass Country Club’s newly renovated clubhouse was transformed into an art gallery featuring an array of works by 17 members and three employees. Most of the works were paintings in acrylic, watercolor or oil, but the show also featured photography, ceramics, intricate glasswork, and carefully executed woodwork.

Technically, most of the artists would be classified as amateurs. But there was nothing amateur about the talent on display. Many of the entries could only be called exquisite, a testament to the passion these artists have for their art.

“It’s something they do on the side because they love it,” said Sue Foley, who with Bob Nickerson co-chaired the event. “People who come in, their neighbors, are always so surprised because they didn’t know that their neighbor did this kind of art.”

In fact, said Nickerson, that’s the point of the exhibition: to showcase the skills of the members and employees.

Both Nickerson and Foley have been involved with the annual art show for many years.

“It’s always been a favorite of the members,” Nickerson said.

The show opened on Friday, April 14, and organizers expected that between 200 and 250 people would attend. Then, on Saturday and Sunday, about 150 to 200 more would visit.

Putting the show together is a large task, though Foley and Nickerson are aided by a committee and enjoy great support from the country club.

“We’ve been preparing for about two to three months now,” said Catering Director Jessica Gustine. She and her team ensure that there are plenty of cheeses, fruits and wine for the opening reception.

“We’re just so excited to be able to put this on for the membership every year,” she added.

This year, proceeds from a silent auction will go to support the Sawgrass Foundation.

“The purpose of that is to help needy families, mostly of the employees,” said Nickerson.

And there was an extra layer of fun this year in the “Find The Hidden Object Challenge.”

“It’s kind of like Where’s Waldo?” Foley said. “In all these paintings and pieces of art, there are eight different hidden objects.”

Attendees carried around worksheets bearing clues in the hopes of locating all eight objects.

The focus of this show was fine art. Later in the year, there will be another show, this one focused on crafts.