More than 230 artists expected for festival

fairhope arts and crafts festival

The 62nd annual Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival is officially underway.

And, you might be surprised at what you will see here.



The morning was as pretty as a picture, and that attracted an early crowd to admire the work of more than 230 artists from around the country.

Organizers said the event gets more popular and colorful every year:  and that brings in lots of green.

Darrelyn Bender with the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce said, “We did an economic development study back in 2010.  At that point, $8.5 million was the impact of this festival.  We figure, fast forward with inflation, that we’re looking at $10.75 million.”



But, not just any artist can pitch a tent here.

Festival Chairperson Jaca McLaren said, “People apply to the show.  They send slides of their work, and, we have an anonymous jury that goes through every slide and picks the people, the best to be in the show.”

Like, people who make mini-helicopters made from tin cans.



Jean McKee of Spanish Fort has featured her acrylics on canvas here since the 1970s.

Her art has a local theme, like, McKee said, “…painting a lot of wildlife, painting boats that we see, and, of course, the local landmarks.”

You may be familiar with the Flora-Bama Lounge, but, do you remember Judge Roy Bean’s on Scenic 98?

You’ll also find plenty of animal paintings, and, sometimes, real animals themselves.



But, there are some arts and crafts you just can’t describe, like Dale Lewis’s woodwork.

Lewis said, “People will say, ‘Hey, I’ve never seen anything like that before,’ and I say, ‘good.’ “

Keep your eyes open:  you’ll never know what, or whom, you will see.


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