Arts festival planned for fall

Published 6:07 pm Monday, July 11, 2016

Arts of the Pamlico is making a call to all artists and crafters to participate in the organizations Hands on Arts Fall Festival slated for September.

The daylong festival will feature the juried arts and crafts — painting, photography, pottery, jewelry, woodwork and more — for sale to the public, according to a press release from AOP. Artists’ booths will line the interior of the Turnage Theatre, home of AOP, and spill out onto West Main Street.

Part festival, part teaching opportunity, the event will also offer artist workshops and demonstrations, as well as a children’s Art Market for art entrepreneurs ages 8-18 and a “kid zone” with face painting, storytelling, games and crafts, the press release stated. While the focus of Hands on Art may be visual, the plan is to have acoustic musicians will be performing in various areas throughout the festival.

In addition to the arts festival, attendees can vote for the “Best Booth” display, the prize for which is $100 in cash, and local merchants will be offering sales and specials throughout the weekend.

The festival is AOP’s first of its kind.

“This type of festival provides an unique opportunity (for those attending) to try their hand at making art while at the same time provides artists and craftspeople another local venue to sell their work,” AOP Executive Director Debra Torrence wrote in an email.

Torrence said the idea for the festival is a direct response to feedback from local artists.

“Area artists have shared that they need more places to showcase and sell their work,” Torrence said. “AOP is committed to addressing that need in a variety of ways, from hosting more festivals to expanding our retail space to providing space for artist demonstrations at the theatre.”

She said she hopes to have a minimum of 30 vendors set up inside and outside of the Turnage Theatre for Hands on Art.

In the months leading up to the festival, AOP is looking for those vendors, whose work will be reviewed and selected based on quality, diversity and originality. Youth artists can sell their work for free; AOP member artists for a vendor fee of $25.

“Artists and craftspeople from across the region and state are invited to join in this first of its kind fall festival in Washington. If it is a hit, we will offer a spring festival, too,” Torrence said.

The festival itself will be free and open to the public.

More information can be found on the AOP website or by calling 252-946-2504. Vendor applications are due by Aug. 1 and can be found at