It’s no secret that Jekyll Island is filled to the brim with beautiful places. That’s true of both the striking structures of the historic district and the sweeping vistas of Driftwood Beach.
It’s common knowledge that beautiful places often draw those who love creatively sharing it, namely artists. From potters to painters, many crafters and creators call the island home. JoAnn Buisson is one of them.
“I chose to retire on Jekyll Island because of the natural beauty of the island and strong artist community. I am a potter and really enjoy the camaraderie of my fellow artists,” she said.
Buisson creates pottery pieces, as well jewelry and Christmas ornaments. Like the other artists on the island, she found a sense of community through joining the Jekyll Island Arts Association (JIAA). There, Buisson has been able to connect with a number of fellow makers, like Maggie Zerkus, who share her passion. She too moved to the island and was able to pursue the arts — painting and photography — in her free time.
“When we moved to Jekyll Island three years ago, I joined the JIAA with the intention of taking painting class. I’ve always loved art and wanted to paint, but through the years didn’t make time,” she said.
After committing herself to the classes, Zerkus also found a network that kept her going.
“One thing I love about the JIAA is the encouragement I have gotten from fellow members. It is a fun group and they add so much to the island. The historic district wouldn’t be the same without the JIAA’s beautiful gallery at the Goodyear Cottage,” she said.
It’s a chance for Buisson and Zerkus, as well as their fellow artisans, to share their creations with residents and visitors. And this weekend, they will have an orm — the 45th annual Jekyll Island Arts Association’s Festival.
It will begin at 10 a.m. today and continue to 5 p.m. in and around the Goodyear Cottage in the Jekyll Island Historic District. The festival will have the same hours Saturday. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. A variety of activities will take place over the three days. That includes a juried art show with submissions by art association members; a selection of raffle items; a bake sale tent, benefitting the Jekyll Singers; and a children’s tent with crafts. Art association members will also offer demonstrations of various classes offered at Goodyear. Attendees will even be able to try their hand at creating pottery, glazing and firing pieces on site with the help of JIAA potters. On Saturday, the Jekyll Island Car Club will host a show, featuring classic cars offering a different option for guests. The festival is expected to draw thousands of participants to Georgia’s jewel, an exciting prospect for participants like Buisson and Zerkus.
“I am blown away with the variety and caliber of the art submitted. There is so many talented and creative people in this area,” Zerkus said. “It is inspiring to see everyones work. I really think there will be something for everyone.”