2016 Judges


Karen Spencer

Karen Spencer is an art educator, registered art therapist and a multi-media artist living in Greensboro, North Carolina. She earned a BA in Art Education (Samford University) and since the 1970’s, has taught painting, drawing, found-object sculpture, ceramics and fiber arts to children, adolescents and adults. Creativity development and thinking outside the box have been common threads in her work in art education.

After earning a Master’s Degree in Art Therapy at Pratt Institute, she became a board-certified, registered Art Therapist.  Karen worked with individuals of all ages in academic and therapeutic settings for over twenty years in Birmingham, Alabama, Washington DC, Durham and Greensboro, North Carolina. She recognizes the expressive nature of creative work and has tremendous respect for the power of creating art as well as experiencing the art of others.

Karen has exhibited and sold her paintings, drawings, and sculpture throughout the Southeast for more than forty years. She is known for her bright, textural mixed media images of colorful handmade papers, fibers, various painting and drawing materials. Karen’s representational work often depicts the beauty of the Appalachian Mountains and people and environments she has seen while traveling in Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Her three-dimensional work frequently consists of found objects and materials used in creative and often humorous ways.

Gregory Jones

Winner of more than 100 Best of Show Awards, Greg has accumulated a list of more than one thousand awards in art competitions around Florida from such prominent jurors as Robert Hughes, art critic for Time Magazine; Elaine de Kooning, world-renowned artist and critic; Barbara Rose, author of American Art since 1900; and directors and curators of such prestigious institutions as the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, and the National Gallery of Art and Smithsonian in Washington D.C..

Mr. Jones was born in Martinsville, VA in 1946 and received his undergraduate degrees from Polk Junior College (now Polk State College) in Winter Haven, FL in 1966 and the University of South Florida in Tampa in 1968.

Mr. Jones has participated in many shows and exhibits, most notably the Rosenquist Invitational Exhibition in Tampa where he was chosen by world-renowned artist, James Rosenquist, as his show favorite, and the 159th Annual Exhibition of the National Academy of Design in New York City where he was the only Florida artist accepted. His one-man shows have exhibited at the Polk Public Museum (now Polk Museum of Art) in Lakeland, FL; the Ridge Art Association in Winter Haven; and Arts on the Park in Lakeland. His work has also been featured in group exhibitions at the Tampa Museum of Art, Polk Museum of Art, Orlando Museum of Art and Jacksonville Museum of Art. Greg’s festival experience includes the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival, Disney Festival of the Masters, Gasparilla Art Festival, Mayfaire By the Lake and Winter Haven Central Park Festival.

As a judge, Mr. Jones has participated in more than 40 festivals and exhibits, including the Vero Beach Art Festival, the Cape Coral Riverview Art Festival, the Lake Mary/Heathrow Festival, the Osceola Art Festival, the Mandarin Art Festival in Jacksonville and the Lake Wales Art Festival.