The Atlanta Foundation for Public Spaces bills itself as an arts festival organized by artists for artists. The nonprofit has been bringing arts festivals to local communities across Georgia for five years, but organizers Patrick Dennis and Randall Fox say that this year could be their best ever.
The couple, partners in business and in life, have been together some 10 years, dating back to Dennis’ time in Washington, D.C., as a lobbyist.
When Dennis retired from lobbying, the couple moved to Atlanta and Fox pushed his partner to pursue his passion for art.
Atlanta Foundation for Public Spaces brings art to city, suburbs
“We started out doing markets, like popup markets. They were very successful,” Dennis says. “Then we gravitated away from doing markets, into doing festivals.”
The AFFPS organizes 10 arts festivals each year all over metro Atlanta. The Buckhead Spring Arts & Crafts Festival, the organization’s next upcoming festival, will be held May 5-6 at Chastain Park in Buckhead. “It’s gorgeous to commandeer Chastain Park,” Dennis says.
The festival will feature around 175 artists from across the country, but many of the artists are from the South, Dennis says. Also included will be a stage for acoustic performers and a children’s area for kids to play and create their own art.
As for what to expect from the artists’ market, Dennis says that artists from across the spectrum showcase their work at his festivals.
“Every one of our shows has a wide array from every discipline,” Dennis says.
“From mixed media to 3-D mixed media, sculpture, photography, painting, ceramics, glass and jewelry.”
The job market for artists can be tough to enter, Dennis says. The recent downturn in the economy has also affected arts markets and the way that artists sell their work, he adds.
“People are very home centric these days. The scale of things has come down,” he notes. “Gigantic paintings and sculptures are harder to move.”