ENGLEWOOD — The 33rd Annual Englewood Bank & Trust Invitational Art Festival kicks off this Saturday.

The two-day art festival represents a longstanding partnership between Englewood bankers and the community’s artists. As it always has, the show will be held 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday outside of the main branch of Englewood Bank & Trust, 1111 South McCall Road.

“When Jim Sears and Mary Gegunde and I first talked to Ferold Davis, then the president of Englewood Bank, we just wanted to have a showcase of our own here in town,” Englewood artist Carroll Swayze recalled.

“Englewood has always attracted artists to live and work because of its beauty on the coast and we wanted to create a show that would feature our local artists,” she said.

The late Jim Sears, a noted sculptor, and Davis were “friends, buddies, comrades in arms,” but that was Englewood then — and even now, Swayze said. She and others even bought stock in the bank in its early years.

Davis helped to found the Englewood Bank and Trust in 1988. He was 66 when he finally retired as the bank’s president in 2006. Davis, 79, died in 2018. His family has multi-generational roots in the Englewood community.

What Davis started his successors at the bank have carried on.

“They’ve been really supportive, always been good about (the art show),” Swayze said of Englewood Bank.

Like in those early days, the art show will include 55 hand-picked artists of a variety of mediums. Sears, who died in 2016, originally selected the artists. Swayze took over and invites award-winning and recognized artists and artisans to participate in the show. Food and refreshments will also be sold at the show.

“The Englewood Bank & Trust Invitational Art Festival is a premiere art collecting opportunity for local homeowners and visitors as well as being a great place to meet your friends, spend the day and have lunch,” Swayze said.

“All the artwork in the show is handmade and the artists who create it will be here to talk to you about their work and their interesting lives,” she said.

For more information, call Swayze 941-266-6434.

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