Fancy Pantsy Arty Party


Clewiston Museum
640 S. Main St
LaBelle, Florida

Clewiston Museum’s Fancy Pantsy Arty Party is Set for October 13 at 6PM!
This year’s event will feature a special guest photographer – Clewiston’s own Julio DeCastro/Against the Wind Images!

Born in Habana, Cuba, DeCastro moved to Clewiston in 1963 as a third grader. He is a graduate of Clewiston High School (1972) and Florida International University (1975). While in college, he bought his first camera in 1974 for $99 and then quickly fell in love with photography. After graduating from college, he started his teaching and coaching career at Clewiston Middle School and his photography hobby quickly turned into a business. In 1976, he and his wife opened Photography by DeCastro, a full-service photography studio. After helping lead the Tigers to their first ever appearance in the FHSAA men’s basketball final four and setting the still standing school record of 28-5, he left teaching and joined Scott Foresman Educational Publishers in 1980 as a sales representative covering South Florida.
Now more in control of his time as the owner of JDC Literacy Solutions, DeCastro is returning to and enjoying the hobby he loves. Largely self-taught, except for some classic portraiture seminars with some of the best portrait photographers in the country, DeCastro continues to rely on the basic principles of the trade and embraces the newfound freedom of digital technology to create a very distinctive style, often creating images that move the viewer.

“I’ve been capturing and creating moments in time since 1974. Digital photography provides a totally new dimension to the creation of a fine art image. I continue to grow as an artist and a photographer, and it brings me great joy to share my work particularly when it elicits an emotional response from the viewer,” says De Castro, “a photograph is just a moment in time captured, until it moves the viewer. Then, it becomes a statement…something more.”

DeCastro will present a program at 6:00 pm, featuring a descriptive slide show of many of his most popular images. He will discuss and answer questions about techniques, and how the images came to be. He will share a portion of his catalog of over 250,000 images, which features a balance of portraiture, wildlife, cityscapes, horses, street photography, battle reenactments, the US Navy’s Blue Angels, landscapes, and the sun and moon. He will also talk about the evolution of his equipment through the years and will have some vintage cameras from those days and the equipment he currently uses.

In addition to the work of DeCastro the Arty Party will feature over 20 other artists and photographers who will exhibit their work and have pieces for sale. They include returning artists Sara Bennett, Jeffrey Block, Diana Carkin, Delores Duncan, Doy Garvin, Tammy Harn, Checira Howard, Elgin Jumper, Maria Mills, Diane Richmond Hall, Ellie Schlager, Jane Schoenfeld, Bill Sikes and Mary Thomas. New exhibitors include the featured photographer Julio DeCastro, Stacey Everett, Michael Henderson, Mr. Lampley, Manny Moya, artists from Muck City Tattoos, Barbara Swift, Mariellen Teeters, and art students from Clewiston High School. There will be a small silent auction featuring items donated by the exhibitors and there will also be a raffle for a quilt donated by Clewiston’s Mayor, Kristine Petersen!
Tickets for the Arty Party are $25 and can be purchased at the museum, from any museum board member or on the museum’s website at

For interested photography aficionados, DeCastro is pleased to offer a three-hour seminar for beginner to intermediate level photographers on Friday morning from 9:00 am-12:00 pm for $99, with a portion of the proceeds going to the museum. Topics will include basics of composition, understanding exposure, and mastering your own camera controls. Interested participants MUST register by October 10th by calling or texting 561-506-9211 or Bring your cameras!

The Clewiston Museum is a private not-for-profit that relies on donations, grants, the support of its members, and fundraising events like the Arty Party to remain in operation. It is located at 109 Central Avenue in Clewiston and the hours of operation are Monday – Friday from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. Saturday hours are by appointment only. Contact the museum at 863-983-2870 or via email at