North Georgia artists will display their finest works when Art in the Square returns for a 12th year in the Historic Downtown Gainesville Square.
The event is set for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 19-20.
As a juried art festival, the event draws the finest artists displaying their sculptures, woodwork and paintings in over 60 booths throughout the square.
Art in the Square began with a group of artists local to Gainesville that wanted to create an art festival run by artists for artists in the community.
“This festival is a little different from any festivals that we have in Gainesville,” said Fox Gradin, new director of the festival. “People are encouraged to bring their children. We want them to see all the art, including live art that they will be demonstrating.”
For children who want to display their artwork and take part in the marketplace, Interactive Neighborhood for Kids will hold a Youth Artists Market to teach them entrepreneurial skills.
“We want to teach them marketing skills and talents that work to sell in the real world, and how they may need to change a couple of things to market their products,” said Sherri Hooper, founder and owner of INK.
There is a small fee for a children’s booth; contact 770-536-1900 for more information. The fee will go toward funds INK is raising for a new interactive center.
Cheery-O the clown and friends will offer face painting for children of all ages.
This year, the festival will be joined by some new and edgy artists such as Meghan Smith, who redesigns handmade stuffed animals called “soft sculptures.”
Jack Frost, a well-known Gainesville businessman, will display and sell his artwork on Main Street, with proceeds going to charity. He has been a sponsor and major supporter for Art in the Square for many years, said Gradin.
The Hall County Quilt of Valor Sew Group will raffle off a handmade quilt. Last year’s raffle befitted Eagle Ranch. The group makes 80 to 85 quilts a year to help the South Hall home for children in crisis.
All stores and restaurants will be open in and around the square selling handmade wares, such as Rahab’s Rope. The nonprofit “exists to give hope and opportunity to women and girls that are at risk or have been forced into the commercial sex trade of India,” through the sale of handmade journals, scarves and jewelry, its website states.
The festival will include live entertainment such as Lupita Mexican dancers and Alchemy drumming and dance, which retells mythological stories through African drum rituals.
Awards for the festival include “Best in Show,” which receives a $1,000 check. There also are second- and third-place awards, along with several honorable mentions.
Food trucks will be on hand this year for the first time, Gradin said.
Free parking is available all around the square, along with a parking deck on the “fourth side of the square” with more than 1,000 free parking spots.
Art In The Square
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 19-20
Where: Gainesville’s Historic Downtown Square
Cost: Free to attend