Downtown’s historic district will bloom with a vivid abundance of fine arts, crafts and music when one of Gainesville’s most beloved family events, the Santa Fe College Spring Arts Festival, takes place April 1-2, 2017. Visitors to this year’s event will enjoy over 200 artists’ and young artists’ booths, live entertainment, food vendors and the Art Jungle children’s activity area. Admission to the festival is free.
On Saturday, April 1, the festival runs from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. when the artists’ booths close and a late afternoon concert with GrüvTherapy and Elio’s Quartet begins. On Sunday, the event runs from noon to 5 p.m. The festivities take place along Northeast First Street, on the grounds of the Thomas Center and at the Bo Diddley Community Plaza.
“There will be some surprises at this year’s festival,” said Raul Villarreal, coordinator of Cultural Programs at Santa Fe College. “Our featured artist, Erh-Ping Tsai, is a jeweler in New York who creates intricate, detailed pieces with his wife, Cynthia Chuang.” Tsai will attend the festival to sign the event’s poster, which features a brilliantly colored dragonfly on a black background. Villarreal, who has over 30 years of graphic design experience, designed the poster.
The juried festival attracts fine artists and craftspeople from throughout the United States. “As in previous years, we received hundreds of applications from artists around the country,” Villarreal explained. “But notably, there were 75 totally new artists who applied this year. Each year brings new artists, new discoveries and new inspirations.”
Villarreal describes the visitor’s experience of walking through the festival as “a delight for your senses. Vivid paintings, drawings and mixed media graphics are arrayed among colorful textile, leather and glass arts. Metal, ceramic and wooden sculptures crouch and soar. Textured pottery vessels beg to be touched. Jewelry glitters and gleams. Color and black-and-white photographs reveal the magic of captured light. Music wafts from nearby stages and the aromas of crab cakes, Greek gyros and gourmet pizzas whet your appetite.”
The Spring Arts Festival is organized and supported by Santa Fe College and the Santa Fe College Foundation. The festival is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture and Visit Gainesville, a Tourist Development Tax Grant from the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners in conjunction with the Alachua County Tourist Development Council; the Village Retirement Community; Pomodoro Café; the festival’s Purchase Award sponsors; and the Santa Fe Fine Arts Patrons.
For more information, contact Raul Villarreal at email@example.com or 352-395-5355.