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Artists show creativity at Art in the Square
Annual event expands to include preview party, bakery arts
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Art in the Square
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday
Where: Downtown Gainesville square
How much: Free

Other Art in the Square-related events

A Matter of Taste
What: Preview party for Art in the Square
When: 7 to 10 p.m. Friday
Where: Around the Old Joe statue on the square, Gainesville (in case of rain, event will take place at 131 Bradford St.)
How much: $30 each or $55 per couple; a limited amount of tickets will be sold at the door
More info: Call the Quinlan Visual Arts Center, 770-536-2575, or Frames You-Nique, 770-532-7074, for any last-minute tickets, which technically stopped selling Wednesday.

Book signings
Who: Local authors, including Rosemary Harris-Mallinson, John Kollock and Roland Reeves
When: 7 to 10 p.m. Friday
Where: Frames You-Nique, 104 Main St., Gainesville

Cake and cupcake decorating contest
When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday
Where: Main Street Market, 118 Main St., Gainesville
How much: $10, entry must be made in advance; download forms at and fax to 770-943-2941

Silent auction benefitting Challenged Child and Friends
When: Now through 4 p.m. Saturday
Where: Frames You-Nique, 104 Main St., Gainesville
How much: Starting bids range from $50 to $75

On Saturday, the area around the downtown Gainesville square will turn into an outdoor art gallery featuring paintings and sculptures from North Georgia’s artists.

The annual Art in the Square festival includes more than 87 local artists who work in mediums such as oil, glass, clay and enamel.

There are even bird houses and screen doors with their own sense of style.

This will be the first Art in the Square for Rachel Q. Landers, a Gainesville artist who contributed two abstract paintings to the silent auction benefitting Challenged Child and Friends that is also connected with the art festival.

"I’m very excited about having a booth in Art in the Square for the first time," she said.

"I look forward to meeting more artists from the area and speaking with people that come by."

Landers had her first solo show this summer at Inman Perk in Gainesville, and said she is curious how the feedback she got from that experience will translate to the Art in the Square crowd.

"So it will be interesting to see what kind of exchanges take place," she added.

Local artist and Georgia Art League member Anne Brodie Hill worked with Art League president Cheryl Hardin to pull off the event, and said they were able to expand the festivities to a preview party the night before, something she had been wanting to do for a few years.

This year, she said, support from local businesses allowed the preview party, dubbed A Matter of Taste, to take off. It will take place around the Old Joe statue on the square.

"We’ve got maybe 15 artists who are going to bring one piece of art ... and we’re going to display them Friday night and then put them back up Saturday morning," Hill said. "There’s a wine tasting; Scott’s on the Square is doing heavy hors d’oeuvres."

Medieval Renaissance band Knightsong will provide live music, with belly dancing local photographer Fox Gradin.

On Saturday, Art in the Square opens at 10 a.m. and will feature a "treasure hunt" as part of the day’s activities.

Attendees can get a map listing the participating shops around the square, along with where all of the artists are set up, and find the "treasures" listed by clues.

"You go to the shop and find the item that’s listed on the ticket, and you tell them you’ve found it and they initial it," Hill said. "We’re going to have about 20 prizes in the treasure hunt. Some of them are gift certificates and some are particular items in the shop."

And for people who are more artistic in the kitchen than on a canvas, there will be a cake decorating competition on Saturday afternoon at Main Street Market.

The contest starts at 11 a.m. and contestants have until 3 p.m. to create their masterpieces.

Because all the tables and some cakes will be provided, organizer Debra Harkrider urged any new contestants to download and fax an entry form to her, then pay the $10 fee on Saturday. Contestants also may enter the contest at The Party Shop on Shallowford Road in Gainesville.

Forms are on the Art in the Square Web site, and entry forms may be faxed to 770-943-2941.

After the contest, the winners’ creations will be auctioned off to benefit Challenged Child and Friends.

"It’s all within Art in the Square," Harkrider said. "It is just another form of art; it is just edible art."