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Gainesville square comes alive with art, entertainment

Art in the Square offers variety of works, along with live entertainment

POSTED: September 13, 2012 12:30 a.m.

There’s nothing square about this art festival.

This weekend’s annual Art in the Square in downtown Gainesville will offer a wide array of colors, designs, textures and styles for all tastes.

The event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 to 5 p.m. Sunday on the downtown square.

Original work from artists from all over the Southeast will including paintings, pottery, photography, jewelry, mosaics, wood turning and wood crafts, fiber art-quilts, felted objects, hand-made scarves, bottle art, folk art birdhouses, paintings and crafts, collegiate art and enamels.

There will be a little bit of something for everyone, including many festival regulars: unusual pottery and 3-D paintings by Robin “bird” Smith; photography by Stan Susky; pottery by Donna Meyer, voted Best in Show last year; and beaded jewelry by Mary Beth Stager.

The festival will include the mosaics of “2 Broken Broads.” Sue Sigmon-Nosach of Murrayville and Debbie Torbett of Marietta are ovarian cancer survivors who have dedicated their art “to show that broken does not mean without beauty and promise.” A portion of their proceeds will benefit cancer research.

In fact, they will appear on the “Live with Kelly and Michael” show Monday (9 a.m., WSB-2) to discuss their mosaic, “Wind Beneath My Wings” as part of Ovarian Cancer Awareness month. Co-host Kelly Ripa is a national spokeswoman for the Ovarian Cancer Alliance.

A sample of their art is available at www.2brokenbroads.com.

“I am excited to again be a part of this event,” said Sigmon-Nosach. “(Director) Anne Brodie-Hill and her staff consistently make this a ‘must see’ show each year. I find that the patrons enjoy the quality and the quantity of the art. The venue is easy to get around and there is more than enough happening to plan to spend an entire day on the square. The expansion to two days should make this a great show for all.”

Another unique artist at this year’s event is Chris Hubbard, whose “Heaven and Hell Car” recently was displayed at the Quinlan Visual Arts Center during its folk art exhibit.

According to his website, the car, which he says he drives daily, is “a lighthearted expression of the good vs. bad dichotomy of self, other people, and life in general,” depicting saints, angels and devils decorated with various objects made of wood, metal and other carvings.

Among other works will be demonstrations by chain saw artist Carl Pirone; raku firing of pottery by Mary Ann Klimek; the Hall County Quilt Guild sewing quilts; Bob McGill from Nashville painting with razor blades; Olaf Gradin making drums; the NE Georgia Fiber Friends spinning, knitting and crocheting; Cinder Elder painting; Jared Kaup throwing pots on a wheel; watercolor landscapes by Mike Denier; and mixed media paintings by Steve Casper.

Awards for the top exhibits will offer prizes totaling more than $2,200 and donated from numerous local sponsors.

Sidewalk chalk artists will be making art and designs on the sidewalk by Spring Street.

Brenau University Galleries and students will be having arts and crafts for kids at its booth.

The Youth Artist Market, in conjunction with the Interactive Neighborhood for Kids, will feature young artists showing their arts and crafts.

Vision 2030 and the John Jarrard Foundation have partnered with Art In The Square this year to include the annual music festival as part of the event. Live entertainment will be provided every half hour, including music and dancing by local and national entertainers.

Among the entertainers scheduled are Jon Mehlferber with the Dahlonega Porch Pickers, guitarist Wayde Powell, Chinese Lion Dancers, traditional Mexican dancers, and the Alchemy Drumming and Dance belly dancers with Fox Gradin.

A free concert on the square from 7-10 p.m. Friday will feature the Riverstreet Band and Jeffrey Steel.

Specialty food vendors and restaurants will offer plenty of treats for visitors as well.

For a full list of artists, events and sponsors, visit www.artinthesquarega.com.


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