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Best in Show: Martin Karadzhov

First Place: Theresa Franke

Second Place: Perez Nelson

Third Place: Nick Alexiades

Honorable Mention: Jen Kish

People’s Choice Award Winner: Martin Karadzhov



Steve Hardock

  • Specialization: Fine Art Painting

  • Affiliations: Volusia County Cultural Arts Committee

Steve Hardock, originally from Pottsville, Pennsylvania, has been a resident of New Smyrna Beach for nearly six decades. He is a dedicated family man, married with three children. Currently, Steve serves as an elementary art teacher at both Coronado Beach and Chisholm elementary schools, nurturing creativity in young minds. In addition to his teaching profession, Steve is an accomplished artist, renowned for his fine art paintings. He has contributed extensively to the artistic community, notably as an artist for the Hamilton Collection and Bradford Exchange. With over 30 plates, sculptures, and other collectibles bearing his name, Steve's work has garnered widespread appreciation. Steve's artistic versatility shines through his proficiency in multiple mediums, including oils, acrylics, watercolors, and pastels. His subject matter encompasses a diverse range, from wildlife to local scenes, including both natural landscapes and historical landmarks. His portfolio also includes striking murals and captivating portraiture. An active participant in the local art scene, Steve regularly exhibits his work at various art shows. He holds the esteemed title of a signature member of the Florida Watercolor Society and the Artist Workshop. Furthermore, his commitment to the arts extends to his service on the Volusia County Cultural Arts Committee, where he has contributed his expertise for several years. Steve Hardock's passion for art, coupled with his dedication to education and community involvement, exemplifies his profound impact on the cultural landscape of New Smyrna Beach and beyond.


Thays França

  • Specialization: Painting / Gallery Owner

  • Affiliations: Ormond Beach Arts District Committee Member, Ormond Beach First Saturday Art Walk Organizer

Thays França's artistic journey began at the age of three, setting the stage for a remarkable career in the art world. Originally from São Paulo, Brazil, she graduated from the esteemed School of Fine Arts before bringing her vibrant style to Ormond Beach in 2015. As the founder of Thays Art Gallery and Studio, Thays transitioned from introducing the paint-and-party concept to focusing on fine art. Her contributions have earned her recognition as one of the "Top 40 Under 40" professionals by The News Journal and accolades such as "Best in Volusia" from East Coast Current Magazine. Thays's passion for art is evident in her dedication to creating commissioned pieces and striking wall murals. Inspired by nature and global travels with her husband, her artwork captures the beauty she encounters. As co-founder of Art Spotlight, Thays fosters collaboration and elevates the arts community in Ormond Beach with her inclusive platform. Thays França's journey epitomizes the transformative power of art, making her both an accomplished artist and a driving force in the local arts scene.

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Roderick Neswick

  • Specialization: Fine Art / Sculpture / Oil Painting

Roderick Neswick is a seasoned professional artist with an impressive 58-year career. As a self-taught artist, he has honed his craft across various mediums, showcasing his work in 51 galleries spanning from Hawaii to NYC. His art has graced esteemed venues such as the Bundy Museum of American Art in NYC and the Chase Museum in Chicago. Renowned for his architectural enhancements, Roderick has left his mark on homes and mansions nationwide. From intricately carved marble tubs and mantels to monumental stone sculptures and sculptured bars, his creations redefine grandeur. His mastery extends across mediums including stone, marble, wood, bronze, stained glass, and more. Additionally, Roderick is proficient in oil and acrylic painting, silver/gold jewelry making, carved gemstones, lapidary, acrylic cement, and airbrushing. Despite his extensive travels for art, Roderick's heart remains in his work, which is evident in his longstanding dedication to showcasing his creations. While his website, Roderick Neswick Creations .com, provides a glimpse into his artistic journey, his Facebook page serves as a testament to his prolific output and accessibility. With a life enriched by art, Roderick Neswick continues to inspire through his creativity and passion.


Angel Lowden

Judging Coordinator

Artist Angel Lowden, based in Central Florida, is a trailblazer in the creative community. With over 30 years of experience, Angel's artwork is a reflection of her boundless imagination, characterized by a whimsical and fantastical style. Her distinctive artistic expression can be found in homes and businesses throughout Florida and the United States, as well as in her studio. Situated in the charming Main Street Art District of Ormond Beach, Florida, The Studio by Artist Angel Lowden is not just an art gallery, but also a studio and vintage boutique. Nestled amidst the refreshing ocean air and tropical surroundings, this location serves as a constant source of inspiration for Angel and her creative endeavors. Angel is not just an artist, but also an advocate for the arts. In addition to hosting art lessons in her studio, she actively supports the creative sector of her community. As a board member of The Ormond Mainstreet Arts District and Vice President of the newly formed 501(C) 3 Non-profit organization, "The Creative Chapter Inc.", Angel strives to educate, enrich, and inspire the community in various artistic disciplines such as art, literature, music, and home economics. With her extensive career, Angel has had the opportunity to organize and participate in numerous events. She has organized the internationally renowned competition, established art clubs, curated creative markets, and served as a judge and coordinator for multiple juried art festivals throughout Volusia County.

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