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GALLERY: Gainesville’s Weekend Arts Festivals

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Jim McGie, an Appalachian craftsman, brought his woodwork from from Athens, Tenn., to the Santa Fe College Springs Arts Festival for the first time.

The Gainesville art community showcased various works at downtown events this weekend. The 45th annual Santa Fe College Springs Arts Festival featured artists from across the nation.

The work of hundreds of creative minds filled Northeast First Street. Passersby could see sculptures, paintings, photography, jewelry, ceramics, gemstone carvings, wood, stained-glass art, mixed media and more.

The two-day festival gave artists the opportunity to win more than $20,000 in prizes for their work.

Jim McGie, an Appalachian craftsman from Tennessee, attracted guests in awe of his wooden rocking chairs. McGie uses tools from the 1800s and hand carves even the pegs that lock the parts of the chair together. He used hickory bark he stripped from the mountains. McGie said he strives to use the same process to make his chairs that was used generations ago.

Down the road from McGie’s tent, another artist made a unique contribution to the festival. With a goal to never let anything go to waste, James Floyd, a multidisciplinary designer from Pensacola, made music out of junk. Floyd used items such as cookie tins, cigar boxes, a skim board, and even part of a seed spreader to make his guitars.

The Viva Europe Festival Sunday allowed the Gainesville community to get a taste of different cultures through food stands and dance performances. Pictured are performances by Gainesville’s Inisheer Irish Dance Company, a local dance group that performs at various events throughout the year. Also featured is the UF Ailigéadar Irish Dance Company, which was founded in 2014 and is UF’s first dance company that focuses only on Irish Dance.

All photos taken by WUFT photographer Natanya Spies.

Jeff Kline, of Stuart, Fla., filled one of the first tents with his handcrafted stained-glass wind chimes at the Santa Fe College Springs Arts Festival Sunday.

McGie said he never makes two of the same rocking chairs. “People who know my work know that they have the only one in the world.”

Visitors to the art festival eyeball designs for their pets. Refreshments and concession stands were available in between tents.

James Floyd, a designer from Pensacola, makes music from a cookie tin as he showcases his multidisciplinary art at the Santa Fe College Springs Arts Festival Sunday.

Bill and Jon Slade of Jacksonville presented Slade Glass at the Santa Fe College Springs Arts Festival.

Whitney Powell of Tallahassee explains her 3-D Mixed Media work at the Santa Fe College Springs Arts Festival Sunday.

Patrick and Maureen Schloss traveled from Valdosta, Ga., to demonstrate their ceramic work at the Santa Fe College Springs Arts Festival.

(Left to Right) Carolyn Ward, 18-year-old UF statistics freshman, Sarah Lotspeich, 19-year-old UF statistics freshman, and Alexandra Rodriguez, 19-year-old biology freshman, represent UF’s Ailigéadar Irish Dance Company at the Viva Europe Festival at Bo Diddley Community Plaza Sunday.

Michael Croft and Sabine Lanninger partner dance as part of the Irish set dancing performances by the Gainesville’s Inisheer Irish Dance Company at Bo Diddley Community Plaza Sunday.

A local band specializing in Irish music performs as the Gainesville community celebrates culture and diversity at the Viva Europe Festival Sunday.

The crowd at the Viva Europe Festival embraces culture as Gainesville’s Inisheer Irish Dance Company demonstrates Irish set dancing at Bo Diddley Community Plaza Sunday.

James Sheppard (front) plays the fiddle with a local band at the Viva Europe Festival at Bo Diddley Community Plaza Sunday.

(Left to right) Virginia Boone, Piper Call and Rusty Forsmark perform Irish set dancing at the Viva Europe Festival at Bo Diddley Community Plaza Sunday.

John Maze contributes to the Irish music while dancers perform at the Viva Europe Festival at Bo Diddley Community Plaza Sunday.

Rusty Forsmark cheerfully contributes to the Irish set dancing performances with Gainesville’s Inisheer Irish Dance Company at Bo Diddley Community Plaza on April 6. Forsmark has been dancing with the group for about 12 years.

About Natanya Spies

Natanya is a reporter who can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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