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2014 Cover Contest

We’re often asked why we display artwork rather than photography on our covers and here is one simple answer. There are over 160 pages of fishing related photos in each issue of Florida Sport Fishing, so why not feature something unique on the cover of our magazine while also giving aspiring artists an avenue to showcase their work. Additionally, avid anglers just can’t get enough! We find nautical art inspiring on our walls. We prefer nautical art on our apparel, and we enjoy exciting marine scenes from talented artists on the cover of our favorite magazine!


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2014 Cover Contest Winning Artist: Dennis Friel

What we didn’t anticipate is that with each passing year the selection process for our highly coveted cover contest would become increasingly difficult, with inspiring entries coming in from all over the country. Our only regret is that we can’t recognize each participant and provide the credit that each of them truly deserves. Like with every competition, there can only be one top dog. Still, we’d like to express a sincere thank you to all of the submitting artists. Never alter your course or let go of your dreams, because in our book you are all winners!

About the Artist

As a contributing force in visually defining the warm water lifestyle, Dennis has pursued his art and design by representing his passion for the ocean. Being a native Floridian puts him at the core of consistently discovering new points of inspiration for these subjects. Fusing both traditional and non-traditional methods of illustration and design gives Dennis the flexibility to portray his visions directly to canvas, wood and paper, as well as apply them digitally when needed.

Dennis is an alumni of Cardinal Gibbons High School and went on to continue his studies at Ringling College of Art and Design and The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. For over 15 years Dennis worked professionally as a Creative Director in the music industry. However, simultaneously operating his own art studio allowed Dennis to extend his artistic reach by working with some prominent marine related clients like the Jimmy Johnson Billfish Championship, World Billfish Expo, Palm Beach Sailfish Classic, Bluewater Movements, IGFA, The Billfish Foundation, The Southern Kingfish Association and a number of leading magazines and tournament teams.

Today Dennis runs a successful, family owned and fully networked fine art, illustration and design company developed to create impactful imagery and enhance brand identities. Currently specializing in illustrating marine life and creating fine art prints and apparel with his best work, Dennis’ goal is to keep pushing to set new standards. He notes, “The idea is to focus our core talents on creating visual components across a variety of mediums that are fluid, functional and successful. By attempting to embark on something new and different every day, we see limitless possibilities.”

An active member of his community, both personally and professionally, Dennis serves on several boards and contributes to many charities. Dennis states. “These are amazing opportunities to give back to the community. Philanthropy is something that is not only a part of the Dennis Friel Art Studios mantra, it’s how we were raised, it’s what our family believes in and it’s how we intend to always be.”

Currently residing in South Florida, Dennis Friel is an artist, a fisherman, a loving husband and father of two children. To enjoy more of Dennis Friel’s inspiring work, visit