Nearly 250 artists will converge on Piedmont Park on Aug. 18-19 for the ninth annual arts festival held by the Atlanta Foundation for Public Spaces. The free festival, geared toward families, will also feature live music and activities for children.
Families attending the carnival can wander from booth to booth to see a wide array of different types of art, including glass blown, metalwork, leather, jewelry, paintings, photography and sculptures. To exhibit their wares at the festival, artists must go through a rigorous application process.
In addition to the exhibition booths, the festival will also involve demonstrations by artists, a pavilion to feature new artists, festival food, music and a play area for children. The event is dog-friendly as well.
Randall Fox founded the Atlanta Foundation for Public Spaces to support artists in need financially, he said. Their arts festival therefore seeks to create an event where community members can attend for free and “celebrate the art world and its contributors.”
In the years since its beginning, the festival has continued to add different activities. This year, attendees can expect a yoga kickoff in the morning and a silent disco.
“We created an arts festival to showcase the incredible artists and crafters that love and work in and around Atlanta and the Southeast. We hope we built an event that really symbolizes what Atlanta is about,” Fox explained.
Artist Valerie Stickles, owner and designer of Penguin Arts Jewelry, said the Piedmont Park Arts Festival is one of the highlights of the season for artists “because of the amazing location and the interesting people that I meet under those massive oak trees each year.”
The festival is expected to be crowded, so Fox recommended using MARTA (Midtown station or Arts Center station) or walking on the Beltline, but there is a parking deck on-site (rates are based on length of time).
According to Fox, the festival attracts artists from across the Southeast and the rest of the nation.
“It’s an honor to support them, and hopefully we will continue to give them a platform to showcase their mediums,” he said.
Many proceeds from the festival are donated to charities that support artists. The festival has often contributed to Georgia Lawyers for the Arts, which provides pro bono legal services to artists.
“What many people don’t realize (is that) artists depend on their sales at an arts festival to pay their mortgage, utilities and (to) cover the cost of participating. It’s their livelihood. If the weather is bad or sales are down, they often don’t have a way to meet expenses, and we’re here to help them out and offer support,” Fox said.
Stickles said the event “is truly inspirational. The local arts community, Piedmont Park and its visitors all benefit from events like the Piedmont Park Arts Festival because of the increased public exposure to unique local art and the ability to interact directly with working artists during the festival.”
Piedmont Park Arts Festival
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 18, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 19. Free. 1215 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta. piedmontparkartsfestival.com.
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