Glynn Visual Arts will host its 50th annual fall arts festival, Art Under the Oaks, this weekend at Postell Park on St. Simons in the Pier Village.
The two-day event will feature local and regional artists who will display their works for sale. The festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
“This is actually our 50th annual arts festival, which is pretty cool, especially when you consider that the organization has been around for 67 years,” said Terri Evans, GVA’s executive director.
The outdoor event will feature many precautions in light of the risks associated with COVID-19. Masks will be required for all attendees and artists, and booths will be spaced out to promote social distancing. Food vendors will not be onsite this year.
“All of our vendors are required to wear masks while they have guests in their space, and I am making sure to space the vendors far enough apart so that there’s plenty of space so that we can maintain six feet and it’s social distanced so that people are safe,” said Jackie Gordon, operations manager for GVA. “A lot of our vendors will have things like hand sanitizer available for use. We’re taking all the precautions necessary so that people will feel safe at this event and feel confident in participating in the event.”
GVA will host a 50/50 raffle both days of the event, and the tickets can be purchased at its booth at the festival.
Forty-five art vendors are signed up to participate in this year’s festival, and they will showcase a variety of original artwork.
“We have a mixture of jewelry artists, ceramic artists. We have painters, both watercolor and oil and acrylic,” Gordon said. “We also have wood artists so they make things like there’s a wonderful artist who makes these charming bird houses from scratch. We have a leather artist this year too, and he makes handmade items out of leather. There’s some really cool vendors out there.”
As the festival has grown through the years, its organizers have refined the selection process for the vendors, Gordon said.
“These are unique pieces of art,” she said. “And I think as the art festival progressed over the years, that’s how we refined it, to really encompass original works of art from local and regional artists.”
The pandemic this year has limited these kinds of opportunities for artists to display and sell their work. GVA had to cancel a spring festival, and many similar events have not been able to happen this year.
“One of the groups of people that have been hit hardest economically is artists,” Gordon said. “They have suffered a great deal because a lot of artists use opportunities like festivals to sell their work. This is an opportunity to help all these wonderful local and regional artists recover from the economic problem they’ve had because of this COVID-19.”
Events like this are part of the fabric of the Golden Isles experience, Evans said.
“It’s 50 years of this festival, and to me that says an awful lot about the love and support for the arts in this community,” she said.