100 booths, great entertainment & food at March 10-11 Orange Beach Festival of Art

100 booths, great entertainment & food at March 10-11 Orange Beach Festival of Art
While any day is a good day to go to the beach, the Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach is offering a great excuse to visit Pleasure Island in March — the 44th annual Orange Beach Festival of Art is set for March 10-11. The festival will feature 100 booths of local and regional fine art, plus exciting acts on the performing arts and music stages. Festival goers may also enjoy live visual arts demonstrations including hot glass and clay. Savory gourmet offerings will be presented in the Culinary Arts area and children can dive into fun hands-on experiences in the Kids Art Alley.
The reputation of this show continues to grow with its selection by Sunshine Artist Magazine, a national arts an crafts industry publication, as one of the “Top Contender” events in the U.S. The Festival of Art was one of 11 in the nation selected as a “must-see event” in 2018.
The festival is a fine arts, juried event held every second weekend in March on the joint grounds of the Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach and Waterfront Park on Canal Road. Festival hours are Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The festival is completely free with public parking located at the Orange Beach Sportsplex. Shuttle service is provided by Baldwin Regional Area Transit System (BRATS) with an all-day pass for $5. Bike riders can park at the Bicycle Village on the Arts Center grounds.
The Patron of the Arts program, offered through the local Friends of the Arts (501c3) group, is now in its second year and provides committed art-purchasing dollars that lets the participating fine artists know they have solid support from the community. Bronze, Silver and Gold levels are available for purchase through March 1, 2018.
With more than 100 artists working in a dazzling variety of mediums, festival-goers always have plenty to see, hear, touch, taste and smell . Fine artists, culinary vendors, musical performers and live demonstrations always deliver a multitude of sensory experiences.
The 2018 music line-up will include Roman Street, Three Bean Soup, Strickly Isbell, The All Star Band, and more. Performing artists in multiple genres will be featured on the Performing Arts Stage with acts including Coastal Ballet Academy, Wheeles Karate, David Jones Jazz, Miss Alabama Outstanding Teen Lauren Bradford, and music from Four A Change.
Culinary selections featured at the festival offer gourmet flair, while still providing plenty of child-friendly options. Feast your eyes on beautifully presented culinary pieces while savoring the rich flavors of the Alabama Gulf Coast. Featured restaurants will include Bleus Burgers, Cosmo’s and Cobalt restaurants, Villaggio Grille, and Fin & Fork.
In addition to the Culinary Arts section, the Specialty Foods Area will include The Meat Mart of Orange Beach, Two Sisters Olive and Grape, Willow Farms and BuzzCatz Coffee & Sweets, among others.
Kids’ Art Alley offers young festival goers plenty of hands-on fun. Children can dig their fingers into clay and bright paint, enjoy games, watch live demonstrations and take home their own works of art. The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo and the Orange Beach Wildlife Center will offer children an up-close look at wild animals.
This year’s festival poster was designed by Sara Dollison, the winner of the first-ever Orange Beach Festival of Art poster contest, sponsored Friends of the Arts. Dollison’s artwork is now featured on T-shirts and print material for the festival. All of the poster contest entries will be on display in the new Coastal Arts Center gallery during the festival.
Come see the beautiful new Coastal Arts Center fine arts gallery and experience Pleasure Island’s brightest and best.
More Info: OrangeBeachArtsFestival. com, Facebook or 251-981-ARTS.

Music Stage
10:15 – 11:30: Lisa Zanghi
11:45 -1:15: Roman Street
1:30 – 3:00: Three Bean Soup
3:15 – 4:45: Strickly Isbell
10:45-12:00: Island Youth Band
12:15 – 1:45: Poarch Ninjas
2:00-3:30: All Star Band

Performing Arts Stage
10:00: Gulf Coast JuJutsu
10:50: Star Wars Characters
11:00: Coastal Ballet
11:30: Tai Chi
12:00: Sassy Seniors
1:00: The Better End Band
2:00: Dolphin Sound
3:00: Youth Snook Club
12:00: Wheeles Karate
1:00: David Jones
2:00: Ben Reece & Lauren Bradford
2:30: Four A Change

Fest named ‘Must-Attend’ show by Sunshine Artist magazine

The 44th Annual Orange Beach Festival of Art was named by Sunshine Artist Magazine as one of “11 Must-Attend Shows for Artists and Craftspeople” in the magazine’s January 2018 issue. Explaining “Why It’s Worth a Look,” writer Stephanie Hintz said, “The variety and size of the event is perfect for attracting buyers to this small city (population 5,682).”
According to a Sunshine Artist “FastAudit” of artists who participated in the 2017 festival, respondents gave the show “an average sales score of 7.3 (on a 10-point scale), and they praised the attention to detail and the remarkable level of attention doled out by the management team.”
Desiree Blackwell, director of the Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach, said those selected are generally shows that did not make Sunshine Artist’s ‘Top 200 Best’ list in 2017, but are still worthy of attention.
“Eleven shows were chosen and we are the only one for Alabama. We may not ever make the Top 200 because we are a small show and artist revenues carries weight in determining the list,’’ Blackwell said.
“Every bit of this praise is due to the efforts of many people from years past and the dedicated work from the 15-person steering committee that continues to bring the show to fruition each year,” Blackwell added. “What makes our job easier is that we are blessed with resources from a city whose leadership truly appreciates the arts.”
Orange Beach City Administrator Ken Grimes Jr. said attention to detail, the incredible waterfront venue and the on-site glass and clay studios make for key components of the Orange Beach Festival of Art each spring. “As we have fine tuned and continue to improve the site, we know that this festival kicks off the season and most fine artists usually have the best works and products from a long winter of creating art,” Grimes said.