April 05, 2017
By Rashida Otunba
Spring is near, which means Statesboro’s annual ArtsFest celebration is right around the corner. ArtsFest is an annual community celebration that is designed to attract individuals of all ages, from all walks of life, and allow them to create their own works of art and interact with and view the work of artists in the Statesboro community.
ArtsFest features food vendors, art stations and other activities that allow individuals to relax and have fun with their families and friends.
Having originated in the early 1980s as a community event designed to connect faculty and students from Georgia Southern University’s Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art with members of the local community, this year marks ArtsFest’s 35th anniversary.
That spirit of unifying the community has carried on into the present day with Bulloch County Parks and Recreation Department heading the event planning, and organizations and businesses across Bulloch County participating in the event.
“(ArtsFest) brings a lot of organizations together from the school system to the community to the university and it pulls us all together into one spot and that’s something that doesn’t happen a lot,” said Kimberly Sharpe, community events supervisor at the department.
After attending follow-up meetings and addressing issues that needed to be changed, the department took on the task of planning this year’s ArtsFest almost immediately after last year’s ended.
With last year’s ArtsFest welcoming an estimated 3,500 to 4,500 people, this year’s festivities are bound to attract an even bigger crowd. This year’s lineup will include art stations, food vendors and art markets, which sell artwork made by local artists, and will also bring a few new activities into the mix, including a balloon artist, and the addition of the Center for Wildlife Education at Georgia Southern University and the Southern Authors Association.
The Wildlife Center will bring in animals and other artifacts for a display show from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., while members of the Southern Authors Association will have tables set up featuring their upcoming books.
This year will also include a photo booth that will allow festival goers to take a keepsake photo with a logo and a date on the bottom to commemorate the event. The photos will be made available on the website the day after ArtsFest.
“I think it’s a good community project. I think it’s a good activity where families can come out and relax and enjoy, and they can see all the different types of art all combined into one,” Sharpe said.
ArtsFest is open to the public, and features activities for both children and adults.
The event will take place on April 22 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. ArtsFest is free for anyone to attend, with the only cost being an optional $5 charge for an ArtsFest T-shirt, which was designed by GSU art students.