Arts Fest turns 13 in 2023 with festival

Published 4:38 pm Friday, July 7, 2023

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By Carey Reeder | Managing Editor

Organizer Mack Gothard and the Chilton County Arts Council are preparing for the 13th annual Chilton County Arts Fest. The celebration of artists will be on July 22 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Clanton Conference and Performing Arts Center.

Gothard and Chilton County Arts Council president Melinda Smith both agreed that the 2023 installment of the event will be the biggest since the event was put on hold for a few years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Gothard said there are a number of vendors reaching out to sign up, and eager art lovers wanting to get more information about what will be available.

“COVID shut everyone down, but now we are getting back to having more and more people,” Gothard said. “More people are signing up as vendors, more people are asking about it and I tell everyone we are the only indoor (arts) event during the summer time.”

There are numerous vendors returning to the Arts Fest in 2023 to show off their creations, but also a mixture of new artists with new artwork available for purchase. The arts fest is only for vendors selling their own handmade artwork. Each booth of art is handmade and done by the person running it.

“When you see that person in that booth, they made those items,” Gothard said. “That is what draws a lot of people … That it is all about the art.”

Gothard, who has been involved with the Arts Fest since its inception, said over the years he has enjoyed seeing the repeat vendors come year after year. Each year they return, their artwork and items for sale improve, showing their growth and versatility as an artist.

“It makes me feel good to see how that artist has improved over the years,” Gothard said. “Where they started from and where they are now … That is what makes me feel good about (doing) it.”

The Clanton Conference and Performing Arts Center is on the campus of Jefferson State Community College Chilton-Clanton at 1850 Lay Dam Road, Clanton. More information about the event can be found at