September 15, 2013

Guild hosts 50th annual Festival of Fine Arts and Crafts

Submitted by the Creative Arts Guild

— The Creative Arts Guild will celebrate its 50th anniversary of a Festival of Fine Arts and Crafts this year beginning Friday and ending on Sunday, Sept. 22.

This year’s Festival includes the popular Patron Party and Taste of Dalton, an indoor juried exhibit, open air artists market, puppet performances, a free Saturday evening concert on the lawn, a children’s 3D exhibit, gymnastics and dance performances, Festival foods and more.

Festival Chairs Kellie Smith and Chris Erber have been working with Festival Coordinator Leanne Lawson to line up committee chairs and volunteers for several months. Lawson said, “Festival is volunteer driven and simply would not happen without our volunteers’ generous gift of time. We are so appreciative of Kellie and Chris’ willingness to take time from their busy schedules to serve as chairs.” Festival also boasts hundreds of sponsors and donors that make Festival the best in the northwest Georgia region.

Patron Party and Taste of Dalton

The first opportunity for area patrons to purchase Festival artwork from the indoor exhibit is the Patron Party and Taste of Dalton that has become a highlight of Festival and is Friday. This year’s indoor exhibit features 181 artworks including jewelry, pottery, painting, drawing, pastels, watercolor, photography, wood, sculpture and assemblages.

The indoor exhibit was officially kicked off at the Guild’s First Friday event on Aug. 2 and is open daily for patrons to view through Sept. 22. It is sponsored annually by Shaw Industries.

The Patron Party and Taste of Dalton is a ticketed event offering patrons the opportunity to meet many of the indoor exhibiting artists while sampling Dalton’s finest culinary offerings. This year’s Taste of Dalton participants include the Dalton Golf and Country Club, The Filling Station, The Farm, Eagle Rock North Distributing, The Dalton Depot, Irene’s Cake & Candy, Lisa’s Cafe and Catering, Coffee Train Cafe, Renz Nest and CAG First Friday Favorites.

Patron Party Chair Angela Gordy says, “We promise folks won’t go away hungry. Each year our local restaurants and caterers set out a feast for our patrons and we are so grateful to them for their willingness to be a part of Festival. The Taste of Dalton has become one of our community’s favorites.” The event begins at 7 p.m. with individual tickets priced at $55 each.

Festival 2013 judge

This year’s Festival 2013 judge for the annual indoor exhibit is Atlanta visual artist Susan Cofer. Cofer received her education from Hollins College in Roanoke, Va., and Georgia State University. Her work has two distinct manifestations: drawings inspired by biomorphic forms painstakingly rendered in a series of vertical lines, and sculptural portraits commissioned by friends and private patrons constructed mostly of papier mâché, also with exacting detail.

Her work belongs to many private, corporate and museum collections and has been the subject of several one-woman exhibitions. She held a one-woman exhibition at the Creative Arts Guild in 1981 titled “Artworks on Paper.”

Guild Director Terry Tomasello said, “We are thrilled that Susan has agreed to judge Festival this year for a number of reasons. First, she is an amazing and talented artist with a tremendous resume and she is a former exhibitor at the Guild. As we celebrate our 50-year anniversary, it is equally exciting to have an alumna.”

Outdoor artists market

The outdoor open-air air artists market will be on the Bernice Spigel Pavilion under the Waugh Street Facility and will feature 48 artist booths. The market will showcase pottery and ceramics, handmade jewelry, etchings, glass, painting, drawing, photography, handcrafted knives, handcrafted wooden decoys, tie-dye, functional sculpture, architectural birdhouses, jewelry and tree chimes from recycled items and much more. Festival volunteer and board member Cathy Snyder says, “The outdoor artists market is filled with something for everyone and a great opportunity to do some early holiday shopping!”

Children’s 3D exhibition

This year’s 3D Children’s Exhibit will be back featuring the artworks of students pre-K–12 in Dalton city schools, Murray and Whitfield County schools, area preschools and home schooled children. The exhibit will be in the Jonas Performance Hall surrounded by the timeline exhibit titled “The Creative Arts Guild, 50 Years in the Making.” Also on Festival Sunday, Sept. 22, The Suitcase Circus (puppet show) by Lee Bryan: That Puppet Guy is slated for 1 and 3 p.m.

Children’s Hill activities:

Festival 2013 Children’s Hill has some surprises this year. The new Founders Garden in the Robert T. Webb Sculpture Garden will be the focus of Children’s Hill where children are invited to climb on and through Isamu Noguchi’s Octetra sculpture. Additionally, Ms. Colleen’s portrait painting tent will be back alongside activities with Ms. Paige. Kids will have an opportunity to create a “Dale Chihuly” sculpture using recycled materials and participate in a mural patchwork painting. There will also be yard games available for the whole family.

And, the Dalton High School Players will be paying Children’s Hill a visit with the students presenting “Harried Harry,” a Street Theatre performance of all seven Harry Potter books in 17 minutes between 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. There will be five student actors performing all the parts (except for Harry, Ron and Hermione, which will be audience members randomly chosen from the crowd). One of the students will make his way into the crowd on Children’s Hill pushing a cart and hawking “Harry Potter candies” (chocolate frogs, etc.), after which the performance will begin.

Seo’s Martial Arts students will present their martial arts moves with a demonstration on the lawn beside Children’s Hill on Saturday at 4 p.m. This is a great opportunity to see young, disciplined students show off their skills in the martial arts.

The Humane Society of Northwest Georgia will be available for questions about its services, plus doggies for petting and watering stations for visiting leashed pets. All Festival children’s exhibits and performances are free.

Dance and gymnastics performances

Festival always brings the Guild’s best trained Guild students out for a performance. The Guild’s pre-professional dance troupe, Ballet Dalton, performs pieces from its annual performance of “The Snow Queen” and a few more numbers that may include hip-hop, classical ballet and modern. Ballet Dalton will perform on Saturday at 2 p.m.

The Guild’s burgeoning gymnastics program will showcase gymnasts that will wow you with their abilities on balance beams, vaults and uneven bars. They will be performing on Sunday at 2 p.m. Both dance and gymnastics performances will be held in front of the Guild.

Saturday Spigel Concert Series free community performance

Lizzie Hebel Thomas accompanied by the Dave Pope Band (both Dalton natives) will perform a free Saturday evening concert as part of the Guild’s Spigel Concert Series, which is sponsored by the Community Foundation of Northwest Georgia and Wells Fargo. The concert will be held at the close of Festival on Saturday with doors opening at 6 and the concert at 6:30. Concert attendees are encouraged to bring their picnics, lawn chairs and beverages. Tables will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Festival 2013 is free and open to the public and is a rain or shine event. Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. The Guild is still taking applications for outdoor artists based on space availability and welcomes volunteers. For more information, visit or call (706) 278-0168.