By Ann Nichols
The Creative Arts Guild in Dalton, Ga., will host its 48th annual festival of fine arts and crafts Friday through Sunday, Sept. 18.
The event has been a staple in Dalton since the early 1960s when Bernice Spigel, who passed away in 2009, and a group of her friends decided to establish an art organization and festival. During the past four decades, Festival has grown to become one of the most eagerly anticipated arts and fine crafts events in the Southeast.
Festival 2011 includes an indoor juried exhibition, an open-air artists market, a children's three-dimensional exhibit, local authors showcase, children's activities, gymnastic performances, an evening concert, patron party and Taste of Dalton.
Beginning Friday evening at 7, the patron party will give art lovers their first chance to purchase an artwork from the indoor juried show. The 127 pieces on display include jewelry, paintings, pottery, photography, drawings, pastels, wood, sculpture and assemblages.
The Taste of Dalton portion of the evening brings together some of the area's finest culinary offerings from caterers, restaurants and bakeries. Tickets for the patron party are $50 per person.
On Saturday and Sunday, admission is free, and visitors can purchase from the indoor juried show and from the open-air artists market, held on the Bernice Spigel Pavilion underneath the guild. During these two days, children can visit Children's Hill and participate in art activities, and all visitors can enjoy festival foods, gymnastics and musical performances. On Saturday evening at 7, Atlanta jazz sensation Francine Reed will perform, as well as vocalist Beth Reeves accompanied by Chloe Williams. Tickets are $10 adults, $5 seniors/students and free for children under 5.
Serving as juror for Festival 2011 is Judith Pishnery. A professional photographer whose work has been exhibited and collected throughout the Southeast, Pishnery teaches photography at the Savannah College of Art and Design's campus in Atlanta. She will designate $2,400 in awards, and the guild will give two additional awards for director's and patrons' choices.
Terry Tomasello, executive director of the guild, has chosen five pieces from the indoor juried exhibition as her favorites.
"Quench," an oil painting by R. Jean, depicts a plum resting on a table. The dark, somewhat moody, realistic painting reminded Tomasello of Rembrandt's use of chiaroscuro.
"Treasure Box," a mixed-media construction by Mandy Wilson, is composed of used fabric, string, buttons, cards, photographs and other objects.
"It's not a haphazard arrangement as is clearly evidenced in the consistent technique," said Tomasello. "It is truly a joy to unfold, lift flaps, open pockets, turn over and explore this work."
"Dogwood" is a fabric collage by Linda Kay White. Tomasello says that this is a beautiful example of arranging fabrics and fibers, laid out intentionally to create a stunning landscape with a pink dogwood as the focus.
"White Sands," a photograph by Seth Thompson, is an example of being in the right place at the right time. It shows the beauty of the undisturbed sands of a desert before a storm.
"Looking Back" a concrete and limestone sculpture by K.C. Linn, depicts an aging figure with a cane who is looking backward.
"The beauty of this work is the figure," said Tomasello. "The sculpture gives us pause to contemplate life and is a powerful statement presented to the viewer in a simple form reminding us of what is important."
The indoor juried exhibit is on display this week and can be viewed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Festival 2011 hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. It will be held rain or shine.
The guild is at 520 W. Waugh St. Call 706-278-0168 for more information.
Email Ann Nichols at email@example.com.