CRESTVIEW Last autumn, local artist Rita Benz delighted the community with an exhibit of paintings that included some somber and enigmatic subjects as well as travel and floral scenes.


CRESTVIEW Last autumn, local artist Rita Benz delighted the community with an exhibit of paintings that included some somber and enigmatic subjects as well as travel and floral scenes.





In her exhibition currently at the Crestview Public Library through October, Benz offers another wonderful glimpse into her world and this time it's a cheerier place.



With a range of subjects, from a rushing "Wild River" to the "Giggles and Grins" of two little girls on a tire swing, the collection of landscapes, portraits and flowers is fun, light and refreshing.



Benz's sure brush also captured a special subject. Unexpectedly grouped with two other portraits, viewers suddenly come face to face with Sara Reese.



Better known around town as "Miss Sara," the diminutive woman is omnipresent, riding her tricycle along local streets, popping up at community events, and observing the passing parade of Crestview life.



Benz's portrait of Miss Sara captures her warmth and generous soul, sharing her broad smile, her eyes aglow through her familiar large spectacles, and her hair neatly captured in a bejeweled bun atop her head.



"She's a sweetie for the community," Benz said. "I gave her that painting and the only condition was that I show it in the show."



A fawn in winter, a collection of local flowers, and a stern Indian chief are among the paintings on exhibit.



However, Rita Benz's brilliant capture on canvas of dear Miss Sara outshines them all.



Want to go?



What: An exhibition of paintings by Rita Benz



When: Through October



Where: Crestview Public Library, behind the post office



Contact: 682-4432



Contact News Bulletin Arts & Entertainment Editor Brian Hughes at 850-682-6524 or brianh@crestviewbulletin.com. Follow him on Twitter @cnbBrian.