2015 Bradenton Blues Festival Poster Unveiling

The limited-edition 2015 festival poster is illustrated by Ringling College faculty member Don Brandes and goes on sale starting the week of September 11.


Don Brandes, a former Hallmark artist and current Ringling College faculty member, is the illustrator of the 2015 Bradenton Blues Festival poster. Brandes worked with graphic designer Paula Murray, principal of Artefact Design, on the finished design. The poster, which depicts a musician strumming a guitar on the railway bridge crossing the Manatee River, is being printed by Manatee Printers Inc. Proceeds from sales of the limited-edition, artist-signed poster, and original artwork, will benefit Realize Bradenton's music and youth outreach programs, including "Blues in the Schools." Starting the week of September 11, a limited number of posters will be available for $30 at Keeton’s Office and Art Supply, 817 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton and online at Manatee Apparel. The poster will also be available for purchase at the 2015 Bradenton Blues Festival on December 5. The original artwork will be a silent auction item at the festival with minimum bids starting at $400. For more information about the 2015 Bradenton Blues Festival, visit www.BradentonBluesFestival.org.

Johnette Isham, executive director of Realize Bradenton, the organization that produces the annual Bradenton Blues Festival, says that the poster is a collaborative effort; the illustrator, graphic designer and printer all donated their services as Bradenton Blues Festival sponsors. “It’s a true artistic blues jam,” she says. “They came together to work on the 2015 poster—capturing the riverside location and spirit of festival perfectly.” She adds that each year’s striking poster “is iconic and becomes an instant classic and are coveted as collectors’ items. We have no doubt the same phenomenon will happen with this one."

Brandes, who has been teaching in the illustration department at Ringling College of Art and Design since 1988, says that his design for the 2015 Bradenton Blues Festival poster is, "my attempt to get sound out of an image. A combination of contrast in color and movement creates a feeling of energy resonating from the blues guitar. All of this is set on the railway bridge across the Manatee River—a perfect backdrop for the blues." The artist has provided illustrations for dozens of businesses and organizations, including Northwest Airlines, Selby Foundation, The Ringling, and Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast.

Ron Pickelsimer, president of Manatee Printers Inc., says that this is the fourth year his company has donated its services to the festival. “This is one of our region’s premier events and we’re thrilled to stand behind it,” he says. “Realize Bradenton is a nonprofit organization, which means the proceeds it raises are directed back into the community. We're all working together in transforming Bradenton into a vibrant place to live, work and visit.”

According to Isham, only 400 limited-edition copies of the 2015 poster, signed by the artist, will be available for sale for $30 at Keeton’s Office and Art Supply, 817 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton and online at www.ManateeApparel.com/RealizeBradenton. The poster will also be available for purchase at the 2015 Bradenton Blues Festival on December 5.

The 2015 Bradenton Blues Festival returns to downtown Bradenton's Riverwalk, December 5, 2015, 11 a.m.-8 p.m., with an all-star lineup that includes Janiva Magness, hailed by critics as one of the premier blues and R&B singers in the world today; harmonicist and songwriter Rick Estrin with his band, The Nightcats, thrilling audiences and critics alike with their fresh, original blues injected with a solid dose of gritty roadhouse rock and roll; guitarist and vocalist Joanna Connor, who is being called the most exciting new talent on the blues scene; multi-Blues Music Award-winner Mike Zito and his acclaimed band, The Wheel; Bluesman of the Year, guitarist-songwriter Larry Garner; the celebrated Mississippi vocalist and guitarist, James "Super Chikan" Johnson; "Girls With Guitars," three electrifying musicians who are quickly conquering the blues world; and the teen brother-and-sister duo, Cole and Logan Layman, collectively known as In Layman Terms.

Gates open at 10 a.m. The music starts at 11 a.m. and ends at 8 p.m. Last year’s festival was at capacity, so organizers are stressing the importance of buying tickets in advance. Tickets for the 2015 Bradenton Blues Festival are the same as 2014: $30 in advance; $40 at the gate, cash only; $25 per person for groups of 10 or more; $20 for students; and $10 for children, ages 5-12. Children four and under will be admitted free. A limited number of reserved front-of-stage seats are available for $75 per person. Tickets are available online and at Keeton's Office & Art Supply, 817 Manatee Ave. West, in Bradenton. For more information and to buy tickets online, visit www.BradentonBluesFestival.org.

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