ArtWorks of Eau Gallie Fine Arts Festival promises fun, comfortable day


Michiel Bullock has participated in five consecutive shows at the Eau Gallie Fine Arts Festival.

VIERA VOICE Courtesy of Sharon Dwyer

Fans of outstanding artwork have something to look forward to as the annual ArtWorks of Eau Gallie Fine Arts Festival will be held Nov. 17 and 18 in the Eau Gallie Arts District.

One of the unique features of the art show is that it takes advantage of what is climatologically ideal weather along with the immense talent of its artists by being an “en plein air” show.

“ArtWorks was founded in 1996 as an en plein air show, an outdoor festival that features artists demonstrating their techniques — artists working,” said Sharon Dwyer, past president and exhibitor coordinator for the show in an email to the Viera Voice.

Dwyer said the festival was started more than two decades ago by Link Johnsten, a florist in Eau Gallie, who wanted to “establish an art festival that would educate people about what artists do and how art comes together.”

About 55 percent of the artists who display their work at the show are from Brevard County, Dwyer said. Most of the other artists come from elsewhere in the state.

She added that paintings, including oil, acrylic and water, are the most popular types of art at the festival. There are other categories of art there, including jewelry, photography, clay and sculpture.

There will be all sorts of quality artists in those categories, including oil painter Michiel Bullock, who will participate in his fifth consecutive show, according to Dwyer.

“Oh, love it,” said Bullock of the show. “It’s one of my favorites. I do a lot of art shows and this is one of my favorites.”

Bullock said he received his first oil painting kit when he was around 7 years old. He started painting in earnest when he was “16, 17 years old” and added that his paintings take about three to five weeks each to complete.

“I tend toward the realism and put a lot of detail in it so it takes quite a while,” said Bullock of the painting. “ .... It’s almost a compulsion. Most artists I know cannot not paint. I have a painting on my easel seven days a week, all year-round. I’m constantly painting and it’s a great feeling once you’ve finished a painting. You feel like you’ve created something that no one else has.”

It’s perhaps due to that passion as well that he enjoys the en plein air facets of the show.

“I like it. What I do is I’ll set up an easel outside my booth and I’ll start painting and it’s amazing how it attracts the people who are at the festival,” Bullock said. “They come over and they’ll start asking questions, ‘how do you do this or ‘how do you do that’ or some of them will just stand back and watch and just observe what you’re doing.”

Bullock added that he feels no pressure when painting in front of an audience “because you’re doing something that you do every day.”

Those interested in more information about the show should go to