EAU GALLIE – The drawing “Mite Bee” by Melbourne artist Nancy B. Dillen recently won the Third Place Cecily Hangen and Ahlin Emeritus Award at the 71st Florida Artists Group Annual Exhibit held at the Dunedin Fine Arts Center.

“I know that Bees have 6 legs, but this creature might be a bee, or it might not,” said Dillen. “It’s a Mite Bee!!!”

Wendy Earle, Curator of the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston Salem, NC judged the exhibit. When she announced the award, she said she enjoyed the piece's intimate detail and wanted to hear more about the painting’s story.

The story, artist Dillen explains, begins with the variety of natural and manmade objects that the Indian River delivers onto the beaches in the Eau Gallie section of Melbourne. Mite Bee was based on a small palm root fragment that was found among the debris. “I was intrigued by the rounded, crescent shape, the rich variety of textures, wide range of values,” said Dillen, “and the hidden personality that was waiting to be discovered.”

Dillen’s work has been on developing a series of drawings working with objects found in nature. Each drawing reveals a magical world changing the once recognizable object into something new that invites the viewer to take a closer look.

Mite Bee can be seen at the Dunedin Fine Arts Center through February 28th.

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