Artists from the county will converge on downtown Canton next week for the Cherokee Art Council’s Canton Festival of the Arts/Literary Celebration.
“This is our way of highlighting and drawing attention to all forms of the arts – visual and literary,” said Pat Gold, Canton Festival of the Arts chairwoman.
The event, now in its eighth year, will be May 21 and 22 in Canton’s Brown Park.
Anchoring the festival will be an artist’s market featuring the works and wares of 59 artists.
Art works for sale include acrylic and oil paintings, blown glass, photography, pottery, jewelry and woven baskets. A children’s area will give kids a chance to explore their creative side with various mediums including paints and photography.
Ms. Gold said she expected between 7,000 and 8,000 visitors throughout the two-day festival. Last year’s event drew a crowd of more than 5,000, she said.
Other festival activities include live music, food and gardening displays with growing and environmental conservation tips from local nurseries and garden supply companies.
Three years ago, festival organizers decided to celebrate the written word as an art form.
The literary component of the festival is spearheaded by Farris Yawn, owner of Yawn’s Books & More in downtown Canton.
“With innovations in the Internet and e-readers, the publishing world is in turmoil. It is more important now than ever to celebrate, promote and endorse literature as an art form,” Yawn said. “We have to let people know that writing is more than just blogs, Twitter and Facebook.”
Thirty authors will discuss their works and trends in the literary world.
Highlighting the literary celebration is Terry Kay, a 2006 inductee of the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame.
The author of 10 novels, Kay has been a mainstay in the business, media and literary circles of metropolitan Atlanta. In 2009 Kay was awarded the Governor’s Award in the Humanities.
Kay’s latest work, “Bogmeadow’s Wish,” an Ireland-based love story, was released in March.
Kay is scheduled to appear May 20 at 1:30 p.m.
Also making appearances at the festival are Bill Starr with the Georgia Center for the Book, a DeKalb County-based nonprofit that promotes literacy and writing, and Robert Williams, the director of Kennesaw State University’s Library of Old and Rare Books.
The Canton Festival of the Arts/Literary Celebration serves as a fundraiser for The Cherokee Arts Center; however, Ms. Gold said the festival’s main goal is to showcase the artists and writers.
“In these though times fund raising is more important than ever,” she said. “But raising awareness of the arts in more important than raising funds.”