Photo exhibit at historic courthouse

OKEECHOBEE — On May 29 the Historical Okeechobee County Courthouse was the location of a juried art exhibit featuring the photography of local Okeechobee residents.

The event was part of Okeechobee Main Street’s Artist Series, which is focused on recognizing local artists here in Okeechobee. The theme of the exhibit was “Okeechobee Wildlife and Nature” and local photographers were encouraged to submit images of Okeechobee’s varied nature and wildlife.

Lake Okeechobee News/Richard Marion
Participants of the photography exhibit stand outside the Historical Okeechobee County Courthouse shortly after receiving their ribbons.

This marks the second year the photographer’s exhibit was held and Okeechobee Main Street’s Arts and Culture Alliance director Bridgette Waldau says that the event drew over 70 entries from photographers.

“We had 75 entries and we narrowed that down to 27,” explained Mrs. Waldau. “This is only our second annual and we already had more this year than last year. Last year we had a few different categories so the committee got together and decided to have one category to make it easier for judges. And we chose wildlife because we thought a lot of people would like that. And they did as you can tell by all these great pictures.”

The exhibit featured the photography of Dacia Garcia, Robin Hayes, Sharon Cannon, Judy Jones, Clayton McClure, Shirley Palmer, Janet Snow, Robyn Spardlin, Judy Throop, Joanie Tomlin, Andrew Tomlin and Edith Welling.

Third place was awarded to Sharon Cannon, second place to Shirley Palmer, first place to Judy Throop and best in show to Joanie Tomlin.

Mrs. Tomlin also won best in show during the 2018 Okeechobee Main Street photography exhibit.

“I’m really overwhelmed and honored because there is so much incredible talent here,” said Mrs. Tomlin shortly after accepting best in show. “I grew up in Chicago and moved to Okeechobee about two years ago. We were looking for a place where we could enjoy wildlife, and when we discovered Okeechobee I felt like a kid in a candy store. We love it here. There is so much nature and so much to see I can never, ever get tired of it.”

Okeechobee Main Street is still in the planning process for next year’s photo exhibit. Mrs. Waldau says the committee is leaning towards making the theme “People of Okeechobee,” but that the details are still being nailed down.

Okeechobee Main Street’s next event is the 2019 Art and Wine Walk scheduled for June 22 from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in downtown Okeechobee on Park Street. The event will take guests through various businesses located downtown such as Nutmeg’s Cafe to Brown Cow Sweetery where they’ll be able to a view a showcase from a local artist and sample wine and appetizers. Tickets for the event will run $20 and can be bought in person at the Okeechobee Main Street office or online at

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