American Artisan Festival Returns To Centennial Park June 15-17, 2018

American Artisan Festival Returns To Centennial Park Father’s Day Weekend For 44th Year

Applications Now Open for Grant-Funded Public Art Installation

NASHVILLE -- April 20, 2018 -- In the era of Amazon when manufactured goods can arrive at your doorstep within hours of being ordered, what’s the value of true craftsmanship? What’s the value of holding a piece of pottery in your hands, and meeting the person who made it? Or taking that beautiful hand-made object home and putting it into loving and intentional use? According to Samantha Saturn, who runs the annual American Artisan Festival, the value is both immense and timeless. Now in its 44th year, American Artisan Festival returns to the front lawn of Nashville’s Centennial Park June 15 through 17th.

The family-friendly and free Nashville tradition is held each year over Father’s Day Weekend , and features over 150 artists and makers from all over the country . Saturn curates the festival and believes that it showcases the very best in American handcrafts and fine art, and the key criteria for consideration is that the artists create all the work by hand in America. Ceramics, glass, wood, metal, photography, painting, printmaking, sculpture, jewelry, mixed media, furniture, all mediums are represented, and prices range from $25 to $2500. “It’s an opportunity for anybody to become an art collector”, she says.

A native of Nashville, Saturn moved back to her hometown after twenty years living in New York City, and has resurrected Nashville's beloved American Artisan Festival, which was started by her mother, Nancy, in 1974. Nancy owned a number of art galleries in Nashville over the years, including The American Artisan Gallery and the Zimmerman Saturn Gallery, and she started the festival as a way to bring people in to her stores and give them a chance to meet the artists. Originally held behind Nancy’s first store, The Craft Cranny on Bandywood Drive, the festival found an ideal home in Centennial Park, where it has been held for the last 30 years.

“The mission of the Festival has always been about making art more accessible.” says Saturn. “I want people to interact with art in a space that feels very comfortable to them, and to get a chance to meet the artists so that they understand that whether it is functional or decorative, the art you will find here is for everyone. I believe everyone can and should have the chance to experience and enjoy art, but I think many people feel disconnected from that in their everyday lives. Similarly, I want artists to have direct access to Nashvillians who can appreciate their work and craftsmanship, and I believe these artists should be able to make a living selling their art.”

One new dimension that Samantha is bringing to the festival is public art. “Something I loved about living in New York City was being able to go out and experience art installations which were both awe inspiring and temporary. The fact that they wouldn’t always be there made them all the more special”. Last year the festival featured an installation entitled "GROW LOVE" as an homage to her mother Nancy. By incorporating public art, Samantha hopes to further enhance the experience of enjoying art in our beautiful Centennial Park, and remind us all about the importance of supporting artists - both local and national. In an effort to do exactly that, Saturn has reopened the submission process for this year’s art installation , granting up to $5,000 to cover building costs. To apply, please visit:https://www.americanartisanfestival.com/2018publicart/ .

The American Artisan Festival is free, family-friendly, and open to the public. There will be 150 artists from across America, fun kid-friendly art projects, an amazing range of artisanal food, drink and craft cocktails-- a perfect outing for Father’s Day Weekend. Stay tuned for more announcements including live music performances that run all weekend long curated by SESAC.

The American Artisan Festival is located on the front of Centennial Park in Nashville, TN

Friday, June 15 - 12pm to 8pm

Saturday, June 16 - 10am to 7pm

Sunday, June 17 - 10am to 5pm

For more information, please visit https://www.americanartisanfestival.com/ .

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PRESS RELEASE: SAVE THE DATE FOR THE 43RD ANNUAL AMERICAN ARTISAN FESTIVAL

SAMANTHA SATURN TO REVIVE JUNE 16, 17, 18 ART EVENT IN CENTENNIAL PARK

(NASHVILLE, TENN) May 4, 2017 -- The 43rd annual American Artisan Festival will be held once again on this Father's Day weekend, Friday, Saturday and Sunday - June 16, 17 & 18, 2017 in Nashville’s beloved Centennial Park. In addition to presenting the best in fine art and contemporary American handcrafts, fair goers will also enjoy live music by some of Nashville's most talented musicians, free children’s art activities, and more than fifteen fantastic options for food, sweets and treats as well as craft beer, wine and cocktails. Always free to the public, The American Artisan Festival is visited by more than 30,000 local residents and tourists each year and is co-sponsored by the Nashville Board of Parks and Recreation.

"It's funny to me because after being a part of a 43 year old legacy, this is really an entirely new event this year," said Samantha Saturn, Festival Director. "As Nashville has grown in these past few years, The American Artisan Festival too has expanded its vision and will be a much more dynamic art event this year. I'm so excited to bring it back."

Saturn adds, “Bringing back the festival is also about celebrating my mother Nancy Saturn's mission which never changed over 40 years. She showed all of us that connecting with artists, learning about their process and collecting their work feeds the soul." Saturn added, "The Festival has also always been held on Father's Day Weekend, which is a wonderful time to spend time with family, and experience art under the trees in our beautiful newly redesigned Centennial Park."

The festival team has also partnered with Watkins College of Art and Design to create this year’s poster design. This year’s poster will be used as the advertising campaign creative as well.

AMERICAN ARTISAN FESTIVAL QUICK FACTS:

DATES: June 16 – 18, 2017

HOURS: Friday 4PM - 8PM, Saturday 10AM - 7PM, Sunday 10 - 5PM

LOCATION: The Cockrill Springs section of Centennial Park. The show will fan out around the front lawn and scallop around the perimeter with the music stage, food, beer, and sweet treats set up under the magnolia trees in the center of the park.

ARTIST EXHIBITORS: There will be 150 fine art and contemporary craft artists from around the country representing the highest quality work including painting, photography, mixed media, garden sculpture, ceramics, glass, wood, furniture, metal, jewelry, wearables and so much more.

FOOD & BEVERAGE: We are developing our own special artisanal food partnership with local food purveyors which will will highlight the best in local cuisine, local beer and our own curated mix of wine and craft cocktails.

FREE KIDS ART ACTIVITIES: On the hill under the shade of the trees, we plan to have Parnassus's Pegasus team hosting story and craft hours, The Clay Lady will be working with kids on ceramic creations, and Watkins College Community Arts Program creating crafts with kids of all ages. We will also have a few misting tents to make sure all the kids are cool and happy as well.

LIVE MUSIC ALL WEEKEND: We will be producing a three-day musical lineup that features the best in Nashville singer songwriters as well as Americana, Blues, Gospel and more.

PUBLIC ART INSTALLATION - GROW LOVE: We will be bringing a first-ever site-specific community based public art project to the great lawn in front of the Parthenon which is entitled GROW LOVE. As a physical bridge between the Parthenon and the Festival, it is intended to be a celebration of the rebuild of the festival and the park, as well as an homage to its founder Nancy Saturn. The work, created by Tracy Ginsberg and Theodore Lillie of Forest Alchemy, will be a 80 foot labyrinth designed in the shape of a Magnolia flower which visitors can physically walk through and leave a written message inside. The installation will show us a new way to experience the park, the Parthenon and the Festival. The installation is hosted in partnership with Metro Parks as well as through a THRIVE grant given to the artists by the Metro Arts Commission of Nashville.

 

The American Artisan Festival - My Story and My Mission

I want to start by saying that I'm grateful for the opportunity to rebuild and relaunch the festival that I spent my entire life celebrating in Centennial Park.  My mother became the owner of what was once The Craft Cranny in 1971 when i was just a baby girl. Along with my two sisters and my father Alan Saturn (who loved this show more than perhaps even my mother) we spent every Father's Day weekend at the fair.  Over the years as it established itself as The American Artisan Festival I was always there working, either selling drinks, or booth sitting for artists, or helping my mother check people in, and eventually helping her layout and manage the show.  I loved from the beginning and of course I loved working with my mother to create it.  It was a family business in that sense. 

But beyond the countless memories and moments I have shared in doing that work, the best part was that the community of artists also became my family, and I learned what it means to share the love of art with the community and to support artists. I learned about your process and your passion for developing it.  I learned from my mother Nancy also how important it was to create access and a space to connect to artists so our Nashville community could understand and appreciate the pure joy of collecting contemporary art--whether decorative or functional. 

Knowing that you can drink your coffee in a mug made by hand that feels good to the touch, or watch the light shine on a blown glass ornament on your christmas tree, or sit on your porch and bask in in the sounds of a soulful windchime on a rainy day--all of this is to say that 43 years later, I still love the mission and I'm so honored to have the opportunity to work with you as we rebuild this show with love and commitment following the path of my mother's soul. 

Now, I will take that forward with a renewed sense of passion. I have relocated with my family to Nashville after almost 20 years living in New York City with the goal to bring this show to a new level of importance and quality and I can't wait to introduce the new Nashville to this incredible event.  I do hope you will join me this year and thank you again for your years of support. 

 

American Artisan Festival Press Summary

As we prepare for the amazing re-boot of our show in June 2017, we will share with you some of our favorite stories starting with the December issue of Nashville arts back through the past few years past to give you a sense of how supportive the Nashville community has been of The American Artisan Festival, as well as the amazing stories about my mother, Nancy Saturn, the founder and visionary behind this incredible event. 

NASHVILLE ARTS MAGAZINE: SAMANTHA SATURN PROFILE

NASHVILLE ARTS MAGAZINE: THE SATURN FAMILY AFFAIR

THE NASHVILLE SCENE: HOW NANCY SATURN CHANGED NASHVILLE