For Hometown News
Foul weather may have plagued the event, but this year's DeLand Outdoor Art Festival was Michael Nelson's cup of tea.
To be precise, it was Mr. Nelson's pot of tea. He won Best in Show at the 48th annual festival with a display of ceramics featuring functional teapots.
Although they could be used to brew a few cups of Earl Grey, Mr. Nelson doesn't expect anyone to actually use his creations that way. He decided to specialize in teapots to show how he can assemble diverse parts of clay into a whole work of art.
"It's showing you've mastered your medium," Mr. Nelson, 55, New Smyrna Beach, said. "And teapots are very collectable."
The festival had to close early, about 2:30 p.m. instead of the usual 4 p.m., on Sunday because of the threat of thunderstorms.
Last year's Best in Show winner, Greg Jones of Lakeland, received this year's Award of Excellence. Carol Napoli, who won last year's Award of Excellence, took home this year's Award of Distinction.
Other winner's were: Judges Award: Ynon Mabat, Longwood, and Brandy Renee, Casselberry; Merit Award: Julie Anstaett, Apopka, and Madeline Kostek, New Smyrna Beach; Honorable Mention: Brett Miley, DeLand, Michael Unrue, Daytona Beach, Belinda Glennon, Winter Park, and Bob Weingartner, Washington, Ky.
Meanwhile, students from schools throughout West Volusia competed for cash and ribbons in the Youth Division. Winners in that division included: Kindergarten through second grade: First Place Brooke Osborne, Reading Edge Academy; Second Place Emory Miles, St. Barnabas Elementary School; and Third Place, Anson Rollins, also of St.
Third through fifth grade: First Place Michael Pertier, who also won first last year, George Marks Elementary School; Second Place Chase Stine, Freedom Elementary School; and Aubrey Heiss, George Marks.
Sixth through eighth grade: First Place Austin Fancher, Southwestern Middle School; Second Place Emily Palmer, a home schooler; and Third Place Kristen Cox, DeLand Middle School.
Ninth through 12th grade: First Place Lindsey Luke, Deltona High School; and Second Place: Nicholas Waugh, Pine Ridge High School.
Isabelle Palmer, a home schooler, won both Third Place in the Ninth through 12th division and the award for Most Promising Young Artist.