The Creative Arts Guild will present its 58th Annual Festival of Fine Arts and Artisan Crafts Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 18-19, preceded by a ticketed Taste of Dalton Festival 2021 Preview Party on Friday, Sept. 17, at 7 p.m.

Festival is a yearly celebration of the Guild’s mission to bring high quality art and arts experiences to our area and make them available to everyone. The event, intended as a gift to the community, is free and open to the public. First presented in 1963 by the newly-formed Guild, Festival continues to be a true family activity and a wonderful way for everyone to enjoy the arts.

Festival weekend will get off to an exciting start with the Preview Party, which offers guests a first look and purchase opportunity in the juried Indoor Exhibit, all the while enjoying live jazz and sampling delicious fare from a variety of great Dalton restaurants.

Festival weekend continues Sept. 18-19. The Indoor Exhibit in the galleries and the Outdoor Artist Market on the Guild’s covered Spigel Pavilion showcase the work of fine artists and artisans Sept. 18 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sept. 19 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Festival will also feature ongoing multicultural arts activities and performances for kids, unique and delicious food, live music and self-guided tours of the Robert T. Webb Sculpture Garden.

Admission to the Indoor Exhibit, Outdoor Market and all the daytime activities is free, and the event is always family-friendly. Please know that we have worked to plan a safe and socially-distanced event; an extended detail of event health guidelines can be found on our website (creativeartsguild.org).

Preview Party

The Preview Party also serves as an artist reception for all Indoor Exhibit artists and a first opportunity for attendees to view and purchase from the Indoor Exhibit. The Preview Party will be on the grounds of the Guild within the fabulous Robert T. Webb Sculpture Garden (which now includes new additions in celebration of the garden's 10th anniversary) and surrounded by a delightful atmosphere of live jazz music by the Premier Jazz Orchestra.

Preview Party tickets are $55 and are on sale. Tickets also include beverages of your choice at one of several bars serving wine, craft beer, tea, soda and water.

For your convenience the Dalton Trolley will be making event parking easy. Simply park at Dalton First Baptist Church and ride in comfort to and from the Guild.

Purchase tickets at bit.ly/FestivalPreviewParty. For ticket purchase help, call (706) 217-6677.

Fine arts and crafts

Festival will feature a variety of live music and performances, multicultural kids’ activities, plus great food and beverages; however, it is most importantly an exhibit and market of high-quality arts and crafts. It is one of the most important ways the organization annually offers enriching art experiences to the community as intended in its mission. Event-goers will view a stunning array of fine arts and crafts; it’s the perfect place to purchase unique and beautiful items for holiday gifting or personal collecting.

The Indoor Exhibit will be displayed in the Guild’s galleries; the Outdoor Artist Market will be on the Spigel Pavilion. Both will feature a broad array of art, jewelry, pottery, painting, folk art, wood, fiber arts, adult and children’s wearables, bags, basketry, glass, metal, photography, sculpture and more.

Those attending the Preview Party will have exclusive first opportunity to view and purchase works from the Indoor Exhibit before the public opening.

Live entertainment

Each year, Festival includes great live entertainment. Live music performances start Sept. 17 during the Preview Party. The Premier Jazz Orchestra will perform as Preview Party guests arrive to enjoy the exceptional art in the Indoor Exhibit and to sample the Taste of Dalton treats from favorite local restaurants.

On Sept. 18-19, Festival will feature a number of local and regional musicians at the performance tent on the Guild campus.

Playing on Sept. 18: the Rome Area Flute Ensemble, Jonathan Beam, Kungolee, Ryan Kuykendall, Christopher Kelly and the Trailer Hippies.

Playing on Sept. 19: Charlsey Etheridge, the Dead Trees, the Tonic Trio, Lon Eldridge, Social Folk, JV and Giles, and more. Throughout the day in the Multicultural Children’s Hill, representatives of the featured countries will present performances reflecting the culture of those regions of the world. A visit to Children’s Hill will take kids on a wonderful journey around the world without leaving the Guild grounds.

On Sept. 18 at 2 p.m., Ballet Dalton will present dance selections from "The Snow Queen," the Guild Dance Department’s annual winter ballet. The dancers will also perform other ballet and contemporary works choreographed by Guild Dance Program staff and guest instructors.

Children's activities

Festival offers great activities for families and kids. Staff and Festival chairs have put together a full schedule of games, arts and crafts projects, live music and special performances including dances and craft demonstrations.

Multicultural Children’s Hill

Much of the fun will be happening on Children’s Hill, an outdoor area with colorful tents celebrating history and traditions from around the world, specifically from some of the countries represented in our community: Brazil, China, Egypt, Germany, Great Britain, India, Italy and Mexico.

Tents with an artistic cultural flair will feature those countries and have crafts and cultural experiences pertinent to each locale. There will be games and music, and Lizzy Stuckey from the Dalton-Whitfield County Public Library will present exciting readings with an international cultural flavor.

“Traveling” through a melting pot of cultures

When kids arrive at Children's Hill they will receive a Guild “Passport” inspiring them to travel from tent to tent and activity to activity. At each country they will receive a special stamp in their passport denoting their “visit” to that country. The Guild’s desire is to highlight and celebrate the rich cultural melting pot reflected in our area and offer fun learning experiences including prepackaged craft projects that can be completed on site or taken home to complete later.

Special performances

Performances inspired by various countries are scheduled throughout Festival weekend: Xochipilli, Mexican folk-dance troupe; Mariachi Aventuro de Dalton, traditional Mexican band; Jillanna Babb, classical belly dancer; Kosi Mawuko, African drummer offering kids hands-on interactive drumming fun; Ballet Dalton, the Guild’s own dance company performing pieces from its annual "The Snow Queen" ballet plus some modern, contemporary and jazz pieces; the DHS Players, a Dalton High School theater group presenting an excerpt from the play “Into the Woods” featuring characters from European folktales; plus more performances to be announced.

Leading sponsors

The Guild is indebted to these leading sponsors: the National Endowment for the Arts, Textile Rubber and Chemical Co., Marketing Alliance Group, Mohawk Industries, Shaw Industries Group, Ken and Myra White, the city of Dalton and the Georgia Council for the Arts.

For all things Festival, visit creativeartsguild.org.

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