Deana Davis was never a fan of sewing — weaving, however, turned out to be a different animal altogether.
“I don’t like sewing, but weaving is an ancient art. I tried it and I loved it,” she said.
Davis got into the fiberarts after meeting Betty Smith, the leader of Jekyll Island’s Cottage Weavers guild. The group is always excited to share the technique with others, and next weekend, they will have a prime opportunity to do just that.
The 46th annual Jekyll Arts Festival will return March 13 to 15 around Jekyll’s art hub, Goodyear Cottage in the historic district. Davis will be on hand to demonstrate and she’s also lending a hand with the raffle.
“There will be demonstrations all three days, but I’m also working with the raffle. We have so many beautiful things up for bids — multi-media pieces, paintings, fiber arts, jewelry and woodworking. There’s also going to be a lot of baked goods,” she said. “Tickets for the raffle are just $1 each but you can get 22 tickets for $22 and direct them toward which item you like the most.”
Cathy Miller’s donated piece might be one of those. The highly celebrated basket maker is excited to participate yet again. In fact, in previous years she managed the event’s raffle herself.
“I did run the raffle in days passed. But I’ve done a lot of things with the arts association ... I also do photography and pottery too. I think it is such an interesting and exciting part of Jekyll. It’s amazing how all of these talented people ended up on Jekyll,” Miller said.
Many of those will be taking part in the festival. On the first day, March 13, the event will be held from noon to 4 p.m. followed by activities from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 14 and 15. In addition to the demonstrations, raffle and bake sale, there will be art for sale, a juried exhibit and a children’s tent. Food will be provided by Red Bug Pizza and the Jekyll Car Club will hold a show.
In addition to outdoor festivities, the first and second floors will house the juried art, judged by professors of art at Valdosta State University. A sales shop where items created by members will also be found there. The second floor also houses the organization’s library which features an exhibit by Rosario Fiore, one of the association’s charter members and Athos Menaboni, a friend of Jekyll Island Arts Association members.
With so much to see — both indoor and outside, Baker says it’s an ideal way to pass an afternoon.
“It’s just a fun time and very low key. Everybody walks around to see all of this wonderful art work. There’s food and fun things for kids to do too,” she said.
The event, like the Jekyll Arts Association itself, has grown exponentially over the years. The 501c3 nonprofit was founded in 1966 by a group of 24 Jekyll Island residents.
Festival chair Fred Powell said while the event now draws thousands of attendees the mission remains the same.
“The arts festival has grown to be the biggest event the Jekyll Island Arts Association produces annually. The purpose of the festival continues to be to showcase art created by our member artists. With over 450 members, and more than 70 classes offered in fall and winter, there is a great diversity of artwork,” he said.
“All of our members are invited to participate, to enter their items in the juried show, and to volunteer to help. There are artists who are unable to volunteer, and we have volunteers who do not enter art, so each can help the other. This year, we are excited to have more than 400 items for the jury to review. All ribbon winning entries will remain up at Goodyear for the month of March.”