MADISON — Informal artisans, aspiring artists and art suppliers all have their place at the Madison Street Festival.
ALLEY OF ARTISTS
Artist Alley participants use their skills to design pristine works of art.
Amber Keyes, who chairs Artist Alley, first attended the festival in 2016. “My family and I really enjoyed the festival and decided to make it an annual event for us,” Keyes said.
This year, his friend Keegan Mumaw used Facebook messages to recruit volunteers. “I had never volunteered before, but I thought, ‘Why not give it a try?’ said Keyes.
A craftsman, Keyes enjoys crocheting, sewing, painting and other pursuits. Also an artist, Keyes’ daughter loves to draw.
Artist Alley primarily focuses on fine art. Ancient vendors created pottery, raku, photography, glass, woodworking, literature, drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, and metalwork. The artist must produce all the exhibited works.
Artist Alley is a juried event. All submissions must include a link to the artist’s portfolio website, their Facebook or Etsy page, Instagram and others. If an artist does not have a website, the artist must submit photographs of their work.
Artist Alley’s current categories are Photography, Drawing/Prints/Graphics, Jewelry, Ceramics, Glass by Author, Oil/Acrylic/Watercolor, Mixed Media, and other types.
The judging area will be at the entrance to Artist Alley. “We have a ballot box for patrons to vote for their favorite artist. At the end of the day, we tally the votes and reward the winning artist with our “People’s Choice Award,” Keyes said.
MSF will also award “Best Display” and “Best of Show” awards. The winners will receive a plaque and a cash prize.
ANSE DES ARTISANS
Crafters Cove, east of Madison United Methodist Church, has experienced artisans who create beautiful pieces of arts and crafts.
Crafters Cove will offer an acre full of treasures and handmade crafts. “Sixty vendors will be selling items for birthday gifts, Christmas, home decor and more,” said Crafters Cove President Brenda Parker.
Parker worked with the MSF committee for about 20 years – the longest service of any volunteer on the committee.
Sellers often create Americana pieces, such as Johnny Cash with Foot of the Mountain Wood Crafts from Huntland, Tenn. (No, not THAT Johnny Cash). During the festival, Cash will sell cutting boards, wooden trays, children’s chairs, jewelry boxes and other creations. All of Cash’s work is devoted to handmade wooden objects.
Shannon Rosenthal with Madison’s Living My Dash Life will have wooden serving/charcuterie boards, Parker said. Rosenthal has decks shaped like the state of Alabama, embellished with resin to look like the ocean. She also creates hand-painted ceramic coasters, ring holders and trinkets.
Crafters Cove vendors will also bring in jewelry, candles, soaps, crochet scarves, aprons and beard products, Parker said.
STUDENT ART TENT
The student art tent contains submissions from students from schools in the city of Madison.
After her first visit to the Madison Street Festival in 2015, Deborah Burke was impressed by the mix of different areas – events, food, entertainment and vendors.
“It was ‘a nice way to spend an afternoon.’ Of course, I had no idea of the hours and hours of coordination, the number of volunteers and the dedication needed to make this “enjoyable way to spend the afternoon” actually happen,” Burke said.
In 2019, Burke visited MSF again with encouragement from his friend Beth Mumaw, who described both how fun and hardworking the one-day event was. On her second visit, Burke toured MSF for hours, completely immersed in the festival – shuttle rides back and forth, tasting food from trunks and buying goods from vendors.
She left knowing that MSF needed a lot of work for “a pleasant way to spend the day”.
An advocate of giving back to the community, Burke decided to volunteer with MSF for the first time this year. Burke presides over the artistic tent.
“I’m excited to learn the ropes and make some fun changes to the student art tent in the future,” Burke said. Art teachers from each MCS campus, from primary to secondary, were invited to exhibit the works of their students. “It is at the sole discretion of the art teacher to choose which art to display.”
In order to respect teachers’ requests, student works will not be judged or awarded with ribbons.
“The Madison Street Festival Committee is an enthusiastic, hardworking and committed group of individuals who give their all to make the festival a success,” Burke said. “There’s so much going on behind the scenes that festival-goers have no idea what’s going on. It’s such a seamless event,” Burke said.
“So many hours have been donated by so many people with one common goal – to make 2022, the ‘We Are Back’ year, a complete success,” Burke said.
“The MSF committee is made up of people from all walks of life, all professions and all age groups,” Burke said. “We are like a big family. We care about each other and have fun together. . . and that’s a big reason I’ll be back next year.