In its third year, the Folk to Fine Art Festival & Expo, set for this Friday through Sunday, will just about fill up the Commerce Civic Center. In just three years, it has moved from a local event to a regional art show.
With 40 booths representing more than 85 artists producing everything from oil landscapes, jewelry, pottery and fabric to funky metal yard art, with multiple demonstrations and art classes, the event will spill out of the large Harmony Grove Room in the upstairs of the civic center down to the Commerce Room, where classes will be held.
The event begins Friday at 5 p.m. Admission will be $15 on Friday, which includes a meet-the-artists reception from 6 to 8 p.m. and free readmission Saturday and Sunday. The event continues Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a $7 admission fee. Children under 10 will be admitted for free.
Eight art classes and five demonstrations will be held Saturday and Sunday.
“Booth space is sold out,” noted Rick Massey, interim manager of the civic center.
Claudine Smith heads the Downtown Development Department’s Promotions Committee — as well as the larger committee of volunteers that is putting on and staffing the festival.
“From the inquiries and just the talk, I’m expecting a big crowd,” she said. “There are just a lot more people talking about it this year, I think. I had several more e-mails today from people wanting to know about it.”
Volunteers will put up the booth walls on Monday night, and the setup will start on Thursday and continue on Friday.
Smith’s committee marketed the event in a variety of media, from billboards to newsprint. It also used Facebook to target people of particular interest.
“We targeted art enthusiasts, collectors, decorators, interior designers – anybody and everybody who would have an interest in art.”
The number of “likes” on the social network site soared as a result.
“This art is for sale,” Smith pointed out. “There will be thousands of pieces of art work. The average boot space is eight by 12, and you can get a lot of stuff in there. Being able to see people’s originals and not just a print is nice, but we will have originals and prints on sale.”
The event will also feature a gallery of loaned items at the entrance to the Harmony Grove Room.
“There will be some interesting pieces there,” Smith promised.
The interest being shown in just the third year of the Folk to Fine Art Festival & Expo already has organizers figuring out how to expand it in the future. In fact, Smith already has a number of people on a waiting list for the 2015 event.