Nationally ranked Downtown Festival & Art Show to kickoff tonight
Video story by Bailey Myers – WUFT-TV
The 31st annual Downtown Festival & Art Show will begin at 8 p.m. today at the Bo Diddley Plaza with a free concert featuring University of Florida musicians.
The event, which also takes place Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., will include artwork from 250 artists, live entertainment and activities for children.
This year, the festival is ranked the No. 13 best fine arts show in the nation by Sunshine Artist magazine.
“Our art festival has a reputation as being able to draw enough people to the festival who have an appreciation for art and want to purchase artwork,” said Linda Piper, the festival’s coordinator.
About 600 artists applied this year for the event’s 250 booths, which stretch from City Hall to the Hippodrome Theatre, she said.
“What we do very differently than most all art shows is that the images that they (the artists) submitted are scored,” she said. “And if you are an Alachua County resident, you get two extra points. And if you’re a Florida resident, you get one extra point. So we do give preference to the local artists, and that is something that we’re very proud of doing.”
More Stories in Arts and Entertainment
Bo Diddley Plaza in downtown Gainesville is closing Sunday for renovations. The renovations are expected to last one year and will include additions to the performance area, a new café, an informational kiosk and relocating an existing bus stop.
A Peruvian artist’s scrap metal rooster inspired local community activists to start a downtown art movement. The creators hope it will attract more locals to Gainesville’s art scene.
Blues music has taken over Gainesville in the form of an exhibit at the Matheson History Museum. “Florida’s Got the Blues” runs through April 30 and showcases the history of blues music in North Central Florida.
Two local artists opened the SoMa Art Media Hub, an art supply store, on Monday with the intent of making it a central art hub for other local artists. SoMa fills a void that was left when Central Florida Office Plus closed in 2014.
Longtime Gainesville cosplayer Erin McConnell is spearheading a Facebook initiative called “Heroes United Against Cosplay Bullying,” which encourages cosplayers — costume role-playes — to combat cyberbullying.