Arts council announces first showcase event

Published 6:03 pm Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Simple things like handmade arts and crafts are sometimes overlooked or replaced by gigabytes and gadgets in today’s technology-driven society.

For two days, residents of Clanton and surrounding areas are invited to “think outside the box”—maybe that box is a computer—and partake in the first-ever Artists’ Showcase and Fall Festival presented by the Chilton County Arts Council.

The event will take place Oct. 29 from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Oct. 30 from 1-6 p.m. at the Clanton Conference and Performing Arts Center at Jefferson State Community College in Clanton.

Those wishing to display artwork or crafts must complete and submit an entry form for a booth. Each booth is $35, and arts council members do not have to pay.

Admission is free for all attendees who do not have booths.

President Elizabeth Byrd said the art council’s mission is to reward artists by providing a venue for showcasing their work.

“There are a lot of talented people here in Chilton County and other areas,” Byrd said. “We are welcoming anyone who wants to be a part of it. We hope it will become an annual event.”

Until now, Byrd said, Peach Jam has been one of the only outlets for local artists to cast their creations, and it is an outdoor event.

“We have had limited opportunities,” Byrd said. “Jeff State and the city of Clanton together have provided us with a wonderful place to do this.”

The exhibition hall will accommodate at least 45 booths and a children’s area for age-appropriate activities, such as drawing and face painting.

Kent Martin, who is in charge of the event, said adults and children will have an opportunity to help paint a mural along one of the walls.

In addition, many artists will sell their works at the showcase.

“Probably 90 percent of work will be on sale,” Martin said. “That’s up to the individual exhibitors, but the majority will be selling their work.”

The arts council will sell food, beverages and T-shirts, and non-members can apply for membership. Monetary donations to the Chilton County Arts Council will be accepted.

“We want to make it comfortable so people can enjoy it,” Byrd said. “It’s really going to be a wonderful chance for people to have something to do in Chilton County.”

Byrd said the Clanton Public Library and the Jeff State campus library are displaying preview art shows from now until mid-October for artists participating in the art council’s showcase.

“For there to be so little here, for the artists to have not had an audience for which to perform, produce or appreciate what they do, it’s amazing to me there are people still doing it,” Byrd said. “They are producing amazing work. It’s not mediocre. That’s why I started the arts council.”

The arts council was incorporated as a non-profit organization on March 29.

Its purpose is to celebrate and raise awareness for musical, dance, culinary, fabric, visual and performance arts.

“We want to embrace all of the arts,” Byrd said. “We believe people should think outside the box, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

Entry forms for the showcase can be found on the art council’s Facebook page and must be postmarked or emailed by Oct. 16.

For more information, send emails to