Â In the era of Amazon when manufactured goods can arrive at your doorstep within hours of being ordered, whatâ€™s the value of true craftsmanship? Whatâ€™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,Â American Artisan FestivalÂ returns to the front lawn ofÂ Nashvilleâ€™s Centennial ParkÂ June 15 through 17th.
TheÂ family-friendly and free Nashville traditionÂ is held each year overÂ Fatherâ€™s Day Weekend, andÂ features over 150 artists and makers from all over the country.Â 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.Â â€œItâ€™s an opportunity for anybody to become an art collectorâ€, 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.Â Originally held behind Nancyâ€™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.
â€œThe mission of the Festival has always been about making art more accessible.â€ says Saturn.Â â€œI 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.Â 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.â€
One new dimension that Samantha is bringing to the festival is public art.Â â€œSomething 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.Â The fact that they wouldnâ€™t always be there made them all the more specialâ€. Last year the festival featured an installation entitledÂ “GROW LOVE”Â 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 hasÂ reopened the submission process for this yearâ€™s art installation, granting up to $5,000 to cover building costs. To apply, please visit:https://www.
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 Fatherâ€™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 visitÂ https://www.