Whether you're a high-end art collector or just looking for creative gifts for the holidays, you probably won't have any trouble finding something to fit your taste at the 19th annual Telfair Art Fair set for Nov. 16-17.
Eighty artists will be at the outdoor art extravaganza in Telfair Square, presenting works with a wide range of eclectic genres featuring painting, printmaking, drawing/pastel, digital media, sculpture, jewelry, ceramics/pottery, photography, furniture, glass, textiles/fiber and mixed media.
According to Kendall McCurry, chair of the art fair, the event will have a Spanish theme as a tribute to the current exhibit on view at the Jepson titled "Spanish Sojourns: Robert Henri and the Spirit of Spain."
"The opening night Arty Party (preview party Nov. 15) is a beautiful outdoor event in Telfair Square," McCurry said. "It's a chance for patrons and guests to get to know the artists in an intimate environment, as well as a time for local collectors to meet new artists and see some of their returning favorites. They can also get a preview of the show and purchase art."
She also said the Arty Party is a ticketed event and will be catered by local restaurant Form.
"The food will be tapas," she said. "Form is so great, so we are excited about the food they are offering. We will also have Flamenco music to tie into the Spanish theme."
McCurry added that Stage Front Productions is one of the sponsors for the event, so they will "make everything beautiful and light up the trees and make everything sparkly. They plan to use gold and magenta colors to also tie into the Spanish theme."
The Art Fair will begin the day after the Arty Party, and McCurry said the fair is the largest free event the Telfair offers each year.
"We have a good mixture of new and returning artists this year," she said. "The fair offers something for everyone."
Free hands-on activities for children will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 16 and will highlight the Spanish Sojourns exhibit. The Children's Area is presented by Blick Art Materials and will feature activities like Travel Sketch Books, Flamenco Dance Instruction, Flamenco Flower Design, Robert Henri Replication Station and Spanish Mosaic Tiles.
While patrons may be excited about the art fair, the artists have reason to be excited, too. Participating artists are eligible for $12,000 in prizes, which representatives from Telfair will announce at noon Nov. 16. Only original works are eligible for judging and awards.
The top prize is the Carolyn Luck McElveen Gold Award for $5,000.
"Carolyn is the founder of the art fair and she will be on hand to present the award," McCurry said.
And while the awards are exciting, it's important to note that all genres of art are judged together. Guest judge Boo McLoughlin, executive director of the Craft Alliance in St. Louis, has the tough job of selecting the winners.
"Boo has experience with different media," McCurry said. "She is well suited to judge everything from sculpture to fibers to photography."
McCurry also noted that while the Jepson will not host its free family day until Nov. 23, patrons can still go inside to get a bite to eat at the Jepson CafÃ© or shop at the gift shop.
She also said guests can preview some of the works by featured artists online at the Telfair's website.