• 61°

Familiar, fresh faces appear at Jean Lake

Features Editor

Interest and excitement are building as the Jean Lake Festival draws near.

The festival will be held April 27 and 28 at the Pioneer Museum of Alabama. Show times are 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Sunday.

This year’s arts and crafts show will be special because it will celebrate 20 years of bringing the best artists and craftsmen in the area together for a two-day festival.

The 20th annual Jean Lake Festival will also be special because it will bring together the familiar faces of the artists and craftsmen who have been a part of the festival for many years and the fresh faces of those who are new to the festival this year.

"We are very excited about the number of artists who will be with us for the first time," said Melinda Liles, chairperson of the festival committee. "They will bring more variety to the festival and they produce high-quality work. Having so many new artists along with those who have helped to build the festival’s reputation as one of the best arts and crafts shows anywhere will make our 20th year celebration one to long remember."

Lilies said the Jean Lake Festival is a juried show and, therefore, the quality of the work is of the highest quality.

"When you come to the Jean Lake Festival, you know that you will have the opportunity to buy the best," she said.

Among the new artists this year are Carol Blount Goff, handpainted/embroidered items; Glenn Sheridan, painting/mixed media; Betty Davis, clothing/creative crafts; Annette Haynes, quilting and Judy Thornton, coil pottery/drawings.

"Aimee E. Simmonton, a young photographer who does wonderful work, is also new this year," Liles said. "Another photographer, Jimmy Stroud, is putting his work on canvas. It’s different and it’s absolutely wonderful. Also, we have a sculptor who does fabulous work. Nader G. Vakili’s work is something to see. I would recommend bringing your checkbook, because, if you like art, you are going to want to purchase pieces from these artists."

And, without the "well-established" artists, Jean Lake wouldn’t be Jean Lake.

"We depend on these artists to carry on the tradition of having a great show year after year," Liles said. "Artists such as Wayne Snellgrove with his carved birds. Pam Snellgrove with her blown glass. Ouida Duke’s clothing and Bill Hill’s paintings. And, always, Charles Adams and his stained glass. Mary Ann Casey will be back again this year as a mixed media artist. And, that’s just a few of the artists and craftsmen who will

help make this year’s Jean Lake Festival one of the best ever."

There will also be an Alabama Art booth where browsers can buy Alabama Art books by Nall and Alabama Art tee shirts.

Liles said most of the exhibitors have generously agreed to donate a piece of their work to the festival committee to be given as door prizes.

A person must be present for the drawing in

order to win a prize and the drawings will be held randomly.

"We’ll spread the drawings out over both days, so you’ll want to come and stay and enjoy all of the exhibits and entertainment the day has to offer," Liles said.

Admission to the Jean Lake Festival is $5 for adults and $2 for students. Children 2 and under will be admitted free. A two-day pass is available for $8.