The Dogwood Arts Festival concluded yesterday after three days filled with the usual wonderful range of arts. Clay, porcelain , and stonework mingled with painting, photography, found-object art and more. The backdrop was provided visually by the Sunsphere and aurally by a wonderful list of curated musical artists.
I have to say I’m loving the World’s Fair Park Performance Lawn as a spot for most of our festivals. The city spent a lot of dollars making it a great place for events and I’m glad to see it being used. The twin concerns of fewer people attending if festivals left Market Square and downtown shops getting less of a boost from festival goers do not seem to have played out. The festival was hoping from the beginning and the shops were packed all weekend. It was literally hard to walk around the heart of downtown on Friday and Saturday.
Urban Woman and I took in the first hours on Friday and, like so many things we do lately, it seemed sweeter this year. I attended last year on the Performance Lawn, but this was the first festival she had braved since the beginning of the pandemic. She said it felt like we were “on vacation.” And it did.
As always, the juried art was amazing and the range provided offered something for everyone. The bright sunshine and unmasked smiles just made everything a bit better. We found some of everything that we really liked, from paintings and photography to Jewelry and purses. I did realize later I’ve lost a bit of my coverage memory since I haven’t been to as many recent festivals: I failed to get some of the artist’s names to go with the work presented here and for that I’m sorry.
As we walked away, I suggested we keep the vacation going by enjoying a crepe at French Market, which we did. It was great to enjoy the festival and it was great to be able to walk back into the neighborhood and have a quieter experience, sitting outside, watching people walking by.
If you haven’t checked out a festival on the performance lawn just yet, I’d encourage you to do so. Next up for the lawn is a return of live music to the spot where so many of us loved Hot Summer Nights many years ago. It returns in the form of the Southern Skies Music Festival on May 14 featuring Blues Traveler, The Dirty Guv’nahs and more and that is also presented by Dogwood Arts. Next up for festivals, however, is the major festival that remains in the heart of downtown, as the Knoxville Opera’s Rossini Festival takes the stage next weekend.