(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.


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.