Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Arts in the Heart

I have a love-hate relationship with art festivals. I love to go to them to see new and different artwork and support area artists. Too often, though, it seems that half of the booths are full of direct sales products such as makeup, tote bags or kitchen gadgets. I enjoy those products as much as the next person in the right context, but not at an art festival. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the annual Arts in the Heart of Augusta Festival this past weekend; I ended up loving it.

Upon arrival, we were each given a special pin to wear that showed we had paid the entry fee. I’m used to art festivals with free admission, or at most a basic wristband or hand stamp, and appreciated that this festival badge was something that some might find worth collecting over the years. (I haven’t decided yet whether to keep mine.) On the other hand, I was disappointed to see people selling the badges to others on social media as the weekend progressed.

The artists’ booths were all full of actual art, including an area for enterprising children to sell their creations. Two dozen food tents offered affordable cuisine from around the globe. And a diverse selection of music and dance performances on four separate stages presented a lively backdrop.

I was excited to see some styles and techniques that I haven’t seen at art festivals in other parts of the country, and came away with business cards for two artists whose work I particularly enjoyed. We haven’t hung any of our existing artwork in our new home yet and need to hold off on making any purchases until we see what space is available. These business cards will serve as incentive to get our current pieces up on the walls!

I’m looking forward to returning to Arts in the Heart next year. I hope that I love it just as much after it becomes more familiar.

Have you been to any recent art festivals that you loved?

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