Bradenton Blues Festival Poster

poster.jpgThe limited-edition 2014 festival poster is illustrated by Ringling College faculty member Don Brandes.

(Bradenton, FL) — Don Brandes, a former Hallmark artist and current Ringling College faculty member, is the illustrator of the 2014 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 in a river, is being printed by Manatee Printers. Proceeds from sales of the limited-edition poster and original artwork will benefit Realize Bradenton's music and youth outreach programs, including "Blues in the Schools." Starting the week of September 29, 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 The poster will also be available for purchase at the 2014 Bradenton Blues Festival on December 6. The original artwork will be auctioned at the festival before headliner Marcia Ball performs around 6:15 p.m. Proceeds from sales of the poster and original art benefit Realize Bradenton’s youth, art, and music programs. For more information about the 2014 Bradenton Blues Festival, visit

brandes.jpgJohnette 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. “It’s a true artistic blues jam,” she says. “They all came together to work on this—capturing the spirit of festival perfectly.” She adds that each year’s striking poster “is iconic and becomes an instant classic. The last two posters were illustrated by Mary GrandPré, the celebrated illustrator best known for her illustrations for the American editions of the Harry Potter books, are coveted as collectors’ items. We have no doubt the same phenomenon will happen with this one created by Don Brandes.”

Brandes, who has been teaching in the illustration department at Ringling College of Art and Design since 1988, says that when he first began thinking about the illustration for the 2014 Bradenton Blues Festival poster, he envisioned “bright, tropical, cheerful colors.” He laughs and adds, “I realize that these are not the typical colors associated with the blues, but the Bradenton Blues Festival is held in a bright, tropical and cheerful place. I decided to put the musician sitting in a river just chilling with the water flowing around him. It might not a typical place to play a guitar—but I knew it would capture the atmosphere of this blues festival on the sunny Bradenton Riverwalk.” 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, says that this is the third 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 non-profit 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 200 limited-edition copies of the 2014 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 The poster will also be available for purchase at the 2014 Bradenton Blues Festival on December 6.

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