Caption: Chain of Parks Art Festival is known for fostering the careers of local and regional artists in a vibrant outdoor showcase. (Photo provided by Chain of Parks Art Festival)
Sponsored - By: Cemile Kavountzis, for Chain of Parks Art Festival
A masterpiece is often created in the quiet solitude of an artist’s studio. It may be a reflection on natural beauty, a statement on the human condition or an introspective self-portrait. However, the joy of art is also sharing a sense of connection with the community.
After having to cancel last year’s event due to the pandemic, a modified Chain of Parks Art Festival will return to downtown Tallahassee this spring.
“People are eager to get to some form of normal activity in their lives. An outdoor cultural event with proper COVID safety measures can be that type of activity which lets people feel like they are doing something fun again,” said Kelly Simmons Dozier, festival and sponsor chair.
“Our local artists have been shuttered for a year, and they are eager to show their work to art lovers who support their artistic careers.”
About the festival
Taking place on Saturday, April 17, and Sunday, April 18, Chain of Parks Art Festival is known for fostering the careers of local and regional artists in a vibrant outdoor showcase, along with food and live entertainment. For the first time, the festival will also showcase work from professional chalk artists throughout its delightful outdoor setting. This exciting feature will provide a novel element of visual excitement to the event.
The festival will still be free and open to the public as it has been over its two-decade history, but attendees will need to book a complimentary ticket for entry. Serious art lovers can reserve their spot online for a two-hour time slot.
Caption: Sponsors enjoy VIP Experience in the parks. (Photo provided by Chain of Parks Art Festival)
Another option for individuals who want to spend all day appreciating art is to become a sponsor. Sponsors receive VIP entry and do not need a ticket to attend.
In contrast to years past, where attendees could come and go throughout the day, there will be a color-coded wrist band system with designated entrances and exits to control crowd size and limit daily numbers to 3,000. On the festival grounds, CDC guidelines will be in place, including sanitizing stations and complimentary masks.
Attendees hoping to catch a particular entertainment act during the festival can book tickets for the relevant timeslots according to the Main Stage entertainment schedule below.
Saturday, April 17
10 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. Young Actors, Pop and Musical theater 11:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. Tuesday Supper Club, Funky Soul Folk 1:30 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. Below the Dam Band, Acoustic Rock and Folk 3:30 p.m. - 5 p.m. Lauren Mullinax, Pop 5 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Artist Award Ceremony
Sunday, April 18
10 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. Saylor Dollar Americana/Roots 12 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. Hot Tamale, Folk & Upbeat Acoustic 2 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Lee C. Payton & The Gangbusters, Rock & Roll, Acoustic, Roots
Expanding the celebrations
While festival organizers will cap numbers over the weekend, they are branching out to expand the festival’s celebrations in other creative ways.
The Zerbe Zelebration will kick-off LeMoyne’s Chain of Parks Art Festival for 2021. A citywide multi-media exhibition of Expressionist Movement artist Karl Zerbe’s works, the event will mark the 50th anniversary of his retirement from FSU. As a world-renowned artist and FSU professor, Zerbe entrusted LeMoyne Arts with the largest collection of his artwork in the world. LeMoyne Arts will be showing eight never-before-seen pieces for the Zelebration. They will also host lectures and round table discussions on civil rights, Zerbe’s art journey, and birding in partnership with COCA, TCC Hurst Gallery, FAMU Foster-Tanner Fine Arts Gallery, Proof Brewing and other sponsors.
In collaboration with FSU’s Opening Nights, muralist Michael Rosato will present a discussion on the role of murals in public spaces at a ticketed Opening Nights event on Thursday, April 15.
There will also be hands-on, daylong printmaking workshop with the festival’s cover artist, Jim Sherraden, held in the Helen Lind Garden at LeMoyne Arts on Thursday, April 15. Tickets are available on chainofparks.org.
Caption: Attendees of the 2019 Chain of Parks Art Festival enjoy a day of art in the downtown parks. (Photo provided by Chain of Parks Art Festival)
Looking back, what began as a seedling venture in 2000 has since grown into a premier art event for the region, explained Dozier, who started as a volunteer in 2005 and later joined the LeMoyne Board of Directors. In 2007, she became co-chair with a group that set out to expand the festival’s reach.
“Each year, LeMoyne worked to improve the festival experience and grow its appeal and notoriety,” she said. “I have truly loved seeing the festival grow with the help of dedicated volunteers and staff doing amazing work to create the award-winning, nationally recognized festival it has become.”
Even though the festival has evolved, it has retained its charming, Southern setting and community spirit. To capture that spirit, Sherraden created a piece titled “Kaleidoscope,” which will be featured on festival souvenirs.
Under the shady trees of the namesake Chain of Parks — Bloxham, Lewis and Randolph parks — attendees can browse the works of more than 100 carefully selected fine artists, including paintings, pottery, glass works, photography and other media. For anyone looking to expand their collection or find a statement piece for their home, the festival offers a memorable art-buying opportunity.
“Visitors love strolling through the parks, visiting with neighbors and seeing all the talent on display,” said Dozier. “There is something for everyone to enjoy.”
To book your free ticket for the Chain of Parks Art Festival or become a sponsor, visit chainofparks.org.