Fine Arts Fest popular with artists and attendees

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By Sara Miller

Artists from across the nation spend their summers tucked under arts-fair awnings — meeting and greeting, explaining their techniques and selling their work. For many artists, the Evergreen Fine Arts Festival, at Heritage Grove on Aug. 28 and 29, has become the perfect way to wrap up a hectic season of travel and selling.

“Many of our artists return year after year because they love our community and the festival’s location,” says Jackie Taylor, marketing chair for the Evergreen Artists Association. “We have artists who tell us that the people of Evergreen are some of the greatest art appreciators they meet all year. And you certainly can’t beat strolling through the Grove. Artists are often inspired by nature when they are working. Why not enjoy the same natural surroundings when they are selling?”

Now in its 44th year, the Fine Arts Festival is a juried show sponsored by the EAA, the largest member organization for artists in our area. More than 100 artists are selected to participate in the festival, and their works are a mix of pottery, glass, painting, sculpture, textile art, jewelry and more.

“Attendees really can make a day of it. We have wonderful art, some fabulous food vendors, and musical entertainment. Every year we’re working to make the festival even better than the last,” says Taylor.

This year marks the addition of a new booth where patrons who purchase art can check in their purchases until they are ready to leave the festival. The manned tent will keep artwork purchases safe as attendees continue to enjoy the event.

With more than 100 booths to visit, patrons might need to re-energize throughout the day. Comfort stations will be scattered throughout the festival with places to sit, and people can enjoy wood-fired pizzas, sweet and savory crepes, kettle corn, handmade Italian sandwiches and fruit smoothies, under the protective awning of the old-growth ponderosa pines in the Grove.

The festival would not be possible without the tireless efforts of EAA volunteers who transform this outdoor haven into one of the longest-running art shows in the Western region. In an effort to keep the festival a safe and popular outdoor event, the volunteers have a few rules.

“We want to stress that there is no smoking at the show,” Taylor says. “We also have a policy that no pets are allowed. There are so many animals lovers in Evergreen, but the festival is a busy place. Wandering through the booths can be hectic with pets in the mix, and given that our days can be hot in August, we want to encourage attendees to leave their pets in the comfort of their homes, not in their cars.”

The Fine Arts Festival is a fund-raiser for the Evergreen Artists Association. EAA holds exhibitions throughout the year, promotes arts in the schools through scholarships and gives annual grants to deserving local artists.

Sara Miller, a freelance writer and a resident of Evergreen, lives with her husband, two children and a dog.

44th annual Evergreen Fine Arts Festival

Presented by the Evergreen Artists Association

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 28 and 29, at Heritage Grove Park, at Meadow Drive and South Timbervale Drive near the Hiwan Homestead Museum

Free to the public. No smoking and no pets allowed.

For more information, visit www.evergreenfineartsfestival.com.