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Can You Tell If This Artwork Are Photos Or Drawings? Check Out Other Cool Art At The 48th Annual Mayfaire-By-The-Lake

Can You Tell If This Artwork Are Photos Or Drawings? Check Out Other Cool Art At The 48th Annual Mayfaire-By-The-Lake

by James Coulter

If you check out the black-and-white artwork of Jeff Eckert from Tampa, you might assume that the portraits of this award-winning artist are all photographs.

That’s exactly what his artwork looks like from afar; but if you take a much closer look, you’ll see that they are all actually pencil sketches.

For the past 20 years, Eckert has been using pencils to draw his sketches. Sometimes he uses colored pencils, but the past two decades has had him use black graphite consistently. Being able to stick to one medium has allowed him to master photorealistic detail, he said.

Each of his pieces take anywhere between three weeks to one month to create. After he’s done, he showcases his work at art shows such as the recent Mayfaire-By-The-Lake in Lakeland this weekend.

Eckert has been on the art circuit for the past 24 years, and he has been visiting Mayfaire for the past 20 years. This year had him win an Award of Excellence, and he has won many other awards during his past involvement with the event.

His success he owes to his parents. Not only would he not be alive without them, but their experience and love as artists have been passed down to him, allowing him to inherit their DNA, he said.

“It is always good to make it a lucrative weekend, and this has been a nice one,” he said.

For nearly half a century, Mayfaire-By-The-Lake has been the signature event of the Polk Museum of Art. The museum hosts the event annually along the scenic shores of Lake Morton in Downtown Lakeland. This year drew in 165 exhibiting artists from across the county and state.

One such artist was Ummarid Eitharong from Deland. He won Best of Show for his large abstract paintings. With bold and vivid colors, and more than 45 years of artistic experience, Eitharong has consistently won many awards at past events, including Best of Show.

As to why he wins so many awards, he attributes his inspiration to his lovely girlfriend; and as to why he keeps coming to Mayfaire each and every year, he attributes that to the overall hospitable atmosphere where he can enjoy friendly camraderie with likeminded artists.

“I have been coming here for many, many years,” he said. “We have a lot of friends here…I like everything that I do. For what it is, it is pretty good.”

This year’s event drew in a large crowd of participating artists as well as attendees. Both Saturday and Sunday has mostly consistently good weather, save for the scattered thundershowers on Sunday.

Despite the hectic weather on Sunday afternoon, which saw people either rush to cover from the torrential rain or the blistering heat, many people managed to come out to enjoy the art regardless, explained Alex Rich, Museum Curator and Director of Galleries and Exhibitions.

“I think we have a hardy bunch of visitors who come to visit every year in spite of rain or shine or heat, they come and they enjoy themselves, so a little bit of rain will not keep anyone away,” he said.

With their 50th year soon approaching, he hopes to see even more people arrive at future events, and he hopes to maintain the same level of expectations as with past events.

“In terms of initial feedback, it seems like people are really enjoying the array of exhibiting artist,” he explained. “They see it as going smoothly as we hope it does every single year, but the response and the feedback has been really strong this year.”

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