SCENE/ART: UPCOMING SOUTHERN ARTS FESTIVALS

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The South nabs half the spots on American Style Magazine’s readers’ poll of the top arts festivals in the county (Feb 09 issue, out now):

Kentucky Crafted: The Market Louisville, Ky.

Kentucky Crafted: The Market is something of a hybrid show. The first two days are only open to the trade. Once the weekend hits, the show opens to the public, who turn out en masse to purchase work made exclusively by Kentucky artisans. “It’s well-stocked with a variety of talented artists,” explains attendee Jennifer Escobar of Berea, Ky. “The entertainment is high quality, the city is lovely, and the food is excellent!” Kentucky Crafted: The Market reopens to the public Feb. 21-22 at the Kentucky Exposition Center. For details, visit www.artscouncil.ky.gov.

Bayou City Art Festival Houston, Texas

“The weather is always great, the music is always great, and the art is always great!” says reader Danielle Foulkrod-Chema of Pearland, Texas. The Bayou City Art Festival, held biannually in Houston, seems to be blessed with good weather; many of its supporters specifically mentioned it as a highlight of the festival. Food, atmosphere and children’s activities also earned raves, but the art is what makes this festival a perennial reader favorite. The Bayou City Art Festival returns to Memorial Park March 27-29 and will surround City Hall Oct. 10-11. To learn more, visit www.bayoucityartfestival.com.

St. James Court Art Show Louisville, Ky.

With a backdrop of historic homes almost as picturesque as the art on display, the St. James Court Art Show is among the largest in the country, with 750 juried exhibitors. “The vendors and visitors come from all over the U.S., and you have such a mix of wonderful items to view and purchase,” enthuses local resident Donna Wallace. The festival has grown significantly since its 1957 inception as a clothesline exhibition, and is still produced by a group of five nonprofits. The show returns Oct. 2-4. To learn more, visit www.stjamescourtartshow.com.

Francisco’s Farm Arts Festival at Midway College Midway, Ky.

Another festival earning accolades for its idyllic setting is the still-young Francisco’s Farm Arts Festival, held on the campus of Midway College in Midway, Ky., a 205-acre working farm. “Francisco’s Farm is an outstanding art festival drawing artists and craftspeople from several states,” says supporter Jane Vancee of Versailles, Ky. “It is held in a beautiful setting … as pretty as any place in England!” The fifth annual event takes place June 27-28 in the heart of Kentucky horse country with more than 150 artists working in all mediums. Visit www.franciscosfarm.org for information

Kentuck Festival of the Arts Northport, Ala.

“I make a pilgrimage to Kentuck every year because I am guaranteed to find amazing work, and ninety-five percent of the time I get to meet the artist who created it,” says Ashley Day of Brooklyn, N.Y. “The quality is consistently outstanding.” Few other shows in the top 10 received so many votes from out-of-towners, singling this fair out as a particularly special event. With more than 300 artists in a wooded park, the festival features a wide range of work, from contemporary craft to folk and outsider art. The festival returns Oct. 17-18. For more information, visit www.kentuck.org.
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