Meet the Judges

David Fithian grew up in Daytona Beach, Florida and was surrounded by artists and creative people from an early age.  Beginning in 1967, he studied at the Art Students League in Woodstock, New York and then at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia in the early 1970’s.  While still an art student he worked in several Philadelphia galleries and learned archival framing along the way. From 1974 to 1980 he was head of the Graphics Department at Drexel University in Philadelphia.  Although Fithian’s main focus has always been on painting and drawing, many years were spent as a fine arts and commercial photographer. He taught photography at the Crealde School of Art in Winter Park, Florida and conducted a watercolor class at the Maitland Art Center in Maitland, Florida from 1982 to 1990.  In the 1990’s he lived in Eureka Springs, Arkansas and was a special features writer for the local newspaper and continued to teach and conduct workshops.  As a practicing artist from art school days to the present there has been an unbroken connection to painting, including participating in numerous juried and one person exhibitions.

In 2000, Mr. Fithian returned to Florida and opened a fine art gallery. Now as Curator of Art and Exhibitions at the Museum of Art in DeLand, Florida (since 2001) this accrued fine arts experience has proved invaluable. 

As a charter board member of ArtHaus of Volusia and Flagler Counties (Florida), Jane Hubbard Jennings’ commitment to our children’s art education helps define her as an artist, educator, and an individual deeply committed to bringing up our children in the presence of art. Recently retired from the board of ArtHaus after serving more 60,000 children per year for nearly 18 years, her commitment to children’s art education through fundraising, program development and exhibition opportunities for youth defines her passion as a visual arts advocate. She studied at East Carolina University and later at Daytona Beach Community College, now Daytona State College, graduating with an AA degree in Fine Arts. She has attended workshops and conferences throughout the United States and was awarded a fellowship at Atlantic Center for the Arts (New Smyrna Beach, Florida), an internationally acclaimed multi-disciplinary arts mentoring facility.

Mrs. Jennings’ current work focuses on textiles as an art form.  The strength of her work is in design and composition. With a flair for photography, Jennings’ uses digitally layered and manipulated photographs printed on cotton and silk, then collages them with hand-dyed fabrics on box forms.  In addition, she creates sculptural pieces made from found objects, clay figures and fibers, making commentary on social issues. She is represented by Arts on Douglas (New Smyrna Beach, FL), and Piedmont Craftsmen (Winston-Salem, NC).  Mrs. Jennings, from Port Orange, FL, is married with three grown children, three grandchildren and three cats.