Deena C. Bouknight – Contributing Writer
Local artist Carol Conti is overseeing a three-day art event coming up in August at the Macon County Public Library. Conti is a member of the Macon County Art Association (MCAA) which manages the Uptown Gallery on Main Street in Franklin. Along with Conti, plenty of visual artists in the community are volunteering their time and efforts to make the first-time event a reality.
“It’s the 60th anniversary this year for the Association, and the Art Fest is just about getting individuals and families familiar with art and artists,” said Conti. “I became an artist because as a child an artist came through our school and she did a demonstration on watercolors, so it was in third grade I decided to be an art teacher. I was a teacher for 40 years. You just don’t know who will be touched … a child who might have their eyes opened or an adult who has an artistic skill but doesn’t have confidence in their ability. This event will provide information about all that art is and what possibilities are open to people who decide to focus on art.”
The Aug. 11-13 event will not only provide workshops, lectures, demonstrations, movies, and exhibits, but will raise money for educational art programs in Macon County. In fact, local musical trio Blue Jazz will cap off the weekend celebration Saturday night, Aug. 13, with a 7 p.m. Tartan Hall concert to benefit art programs in Macon County Schools. The event will include a silent auction, refreshments, and a raffle for an original painting by Conti.
“If it takes off and we get a good response, I would love the Art Fest to involve all the arts: song writers, theater performers, photographers …,” said Conti. “Art of all kinds is so important to the cultural health of a community. By focusing on art education in Macon County schools, we hope to develop more artists and art enthusiasts for the future.”
In May, the Town of Franklin issued a proclamation allowing for the upcoming Art Fest. Conti and volunteers are working to fill out the full three-day schedule of events and activities with local artists and art educators and more.
Food trucks will be present outside the library during the Art Fest.
The three-day Art Fest is free, but tickets for the fundraiser concert on Aug. 13 may be purchased at MCAA’s Uptown Gallery beginning July 1. Pre-event price is $25 per ticket; price at the event is $35 per ticket.