by Nicole Royse
The Tempe Festival of the Arts is a spectacular 3-day event taking place Friday, March 23 through Sunday, March 25, showcasing exceptional visual artists from around the country. Returning for its 41st season, this festival focuses on amazing art, edibles, and entertainment situated in the heart of beautiful Downtown Tempe!
Open daily from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM and offering visitors the opportunity to explore wonderful Mill Avenue from Third Street to University, the Tempe Festival of the Arts has consistently been ranked in the Top 200 Fine Art and Fine Craft Festivals in the nation and they are expecting nearly 225,000 visitors this year!
Receiving around 700 applicants, that are then juried by members of the local art community, the top artisans are ranked in each category and the highest-ranking artists receive invitations to participate.
The Tempe Festival of the Arts will highlight a diverse and eclectic array of artists working in 16 different visual arts categories including ceramics, jewelry, photography, wearable art, and wood to name just a few. Selected by jury, 350 artist booths will line Mill Avenue filled with unique and hand-made artwork that offer visitors a wonderful opportunity to meet the artists and shop an eclectic collection of works.
During the Festival, a new jury selects the best overall artist and the top artist in each category receives cash honoraria awards. Adam Homan, an Arizona native who has been creating metal art for the past 21 years is this year’s featured artist, whose work utilizes a “unique blend of steel, re-purposed objects and fiber optics.”
The Festival will present well-known local and regional music with more than a dozen street performers as well as the new edition “Unplugged Lounge” courtesy of the Graduate Tempe. They will also offer a wonderful variety of food options from local vendors that can be found throughout the festival at the food court, “Food Truck Alley”, snack vendors, and the featured Beer and Wine gardens.
The ASU Art Museum Ceramics Research Center and Brickyard Gallery, located at the Brickyard on Mill, features an interesting gallery space and open storage combination handled by the Ceramics Research Center with a diverse collection of 3,500 ceramic pieces at any one time.
Festival goers can experiment with chalk at the Chalk-A-Lot Street featuring a special curated chalk art section located on 4th Street and Mill with amazing professional chalk artists competing for awards.
For complete Tempe Festival of the Arts details, artist line up and entertainment schedules visit them online. Be sure also to follow them online on Twitter and Facebook. Admission to the festival is free!