02/16/2014 – 12th ANNUAL JERRY BROWN ARTS FESTIVAL SET FOR SAT. AND SUN. MAR. 1 – 2, 2014
YEAR TWELVE OF THE JERRY BROWN ARTS FESTIVAL BRINGS FAMILIAR, NEW FACES
Hamilton, Ala. – Over fifty artists from throughout the southeastern United States will be in the city of Hamilton offering for the annual first weekend in March indoor juried arts festival, the twelfth annual Jerry Brown Arts Festival (JBAF). Hosted by the Northwest Alabama Arts Council, artists have come through a strenuous selection process to participate in this year’s event set for Saturday, March 1, and Sunday, March 2.
This year’s event will return to the former Colby Furniture building, one mile east of Hamilton, just off of U.S. Highway 278, and brings many familiar faces, with approximately three-fourths of the artists having previously participated in the festival. This year’s festival brings accolades even before the doors open, with the 2014 edition being named as a Top 20 Event in the Southeast for the month of March recognition by the Southeast Tourism Society for the fourth time in six years.
Headlining two-day festival will be Smithsonian potter, ninth-generation potter, Jerry Brown, of Hamilton. Joining Brown as headlining artists are crowd favorites Charlie “The Tin Man” Lucas, of Selma, Ala., Maurice Cook, of Hoover, Ala., and LaVale K. Mills, also of Hamilton. Media presented at the weekend festival include pottery, fabric art, ironwork, metalwork, paper art, glass art, gourds, and others
Special exhibitions at the JBAF include a return of the popular Image Masters’ photography display, another program of the Northwest Alabama Arts Council; and a special display of pottery pieces made by 30 fourth-grade students from Hamilton Elementary School through the arts council’s Molding Hearts, Hands & Minds program and potter Jerry Brown. There will be a kids’ art station provided in conjunction with Bevill State Community College-Hamilton where children can paint and make small clay items at no charge. There will also be a special educational display by the Echota Indian tribe.
This year’s festival features the return of five former JBAF Best of Show winners: Craig and Tracy Wilson (pottery), Denise Brown (pottery), Linda Lindale (fiber/jewelry), Helene Fielder (pottery and clay sculptures), and Maurice Cook (painting). Artists participating in the 2014 JBAF hail from Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, and North Carolina.
One aspect of the JBAF which truly sets it apart from others is the number of artists who will be demonstrating their talents throughout the weekend, which will include potters, painters, textile weaving, glasswork, metalwork, broom-making, quilting, and jewelry-making. Northwest Alabama Arts Council president Judy W. Miller stated, “We are very proud of the educational components of the JBAF, which are primary in setting this festival apart from many other arts festivals; plus there’s no charge for admission, so it is an opportunity for everyone to see beautiful pieces of art and artists making those beautiful pieces right in front of your eyes.” Miller added, “There are unique, one-of-a-kind pieces of art which are affordable to everyone. There is something for everyone – men, women, and children.”
The festival honors Hamilton’s Jerry Brown, a ninth-generation potter whose work can be found in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. Brown was awarded the National Heritage Fellowship in 1992, as well as receiving numerous merit awards and in 2003, he was awarded the Alabama Heritage Award from the Alabama Arts Council. Brown is the only known potter in the United States still using a mule, Blue the Mule, to help him mill clay for his pottery.
Festival hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 1st, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 2nd. Admission is free. The former Colby Building is located at 236 Laurel Lane, Hamilton, Ala. For more information, visit the festival’s official web site at http://www.jbaf.org or call 205.921.9483.