A picture-perfect Saturday greeted visitors as area artists set up shop in the downtown Gainesville square for the 11th annual Art in the Square festival.
Shoppers viewed and purchased a variety of works, from watercolor paintings of Lake Lanier to hand-carved wooden sculptures. The two-day event concludes from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today.
It is an opportunity for local artists to share their work with customers and with each other, according to Patricia Fabian, Lake Lanier artist and president of the Georgia Art League.
“This is my second year here,” Fabian said Saturday. “We’re having a great time.”
Fabian has a studio on Lake Lanier and teaches for the Quinlan Visual Arts Center in Gainesville. She does a lot of painting of the North Georgia Mountains and of the lake from her studio.
“This is a great art community,” Fabian said.
Sue Sigmon-Nosach, a Gainesville glass artist, said the festival is a good opportunity for artists who don’t have studios to get out and share their work.
“I don’t do a lot of gallery work, so this exposes me to people,” she said. “And there are a lot of artists here who aren’t in galleries and don’t have studios, so that’s a good thing.”
Sigmon-Nosach uses her art to raise awareness of ovarian cancer. Every piece she does has a small teal ribbon in it as a reminder of the disease.
Carol Johnson and Betty Heathman also use their work for a bigger cause. They are members of the Hall County Quilt of Valor Sew Group, and they raffled off a handmade quilt during the art show Saturday.
“We’re selling raffle tickets to benefit children at Eagle Ranch,” Johnson said. “... Every child gets a quilt and they keep it for the rest of their lives. We make 80 to 85 a year that go to Eagle Ranch.”
Funds raised during Art in the Square will help Johnson, Heathman and the rest of the sew group purchase materials to make more quilts.
“We also make quilts for soldiers,” Heathman said. “We make them for any veteran touched by war.”
The group meets the second Thursday each month from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. All women interested in quilting or sewing are welcome to attend.
Sigmon-Nosach said it is a good opportunity for local artists to share their work with those interested in the community.
“This is the fifth time I’ve been to Art in the Square,” she said. “I always have fun here, see all my friends.”