Terri Evans has been very busy lately. The Executive Director of Glynn Visual Arts has spent her days diligently working on several initiatives for the St. Simons-based nonprofit.
From hosting an expansive festival to renovating the centre’s gift shop, Evans is definitely a woman on a mission. Of course, she has a lot of support through a dedicated cast of artists, volunteers and board members.
Their first order of business – the organization of the annual Under the Oaks art festival. The five-decade event will return from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on September 25 and 26 at Postell Park on St. Simons Island. Evans says the festival is still one of the most popular items on the season’s schedule.
“Artists are still applying for spots on a daily basis, so we don’t yet know how many stands we’ll have, but there will definitely be over 50. We have a maximum of 70 and we could get there,” Evans said.
The enthusiasm on the part of the artists is understandable. The Under the Oaks festival is one that brings great variety, attracting vendors from all over the Southeast. From mixed media paintings, textiles to jewelry, there is something for all buyers at different prices.
“We have a lot of jewelry this time around, which I’m delighted with. People seem to really like it and the prices vary so much that you end up with something that works for a lot of attendees and buyers, ”she said. “Then you have the watercolor artists and the mixed media. Barbara Northrop will be there with her beautiful textiles. There will also be more food vendors this time around.
The mix of items is one of the reasons customers keep coming back to the festival. Evans says they learned that GVA only offers the best artists and products.
“I think a lot of the popularity is because they know that GVA, as the curator of this, does a damn good job of making sure the quality and creativity of the work is worth it. ‘be seen,’ she said.
“We get this kind of feedback because we are associated with a lot of local art that is locally grown. This is one of the reasons I think people trust us to organize a good festival.
They also plan to offer a safe festival. Evans says GVA is adamant about adhering to all recommended coronavirus guidelines.
“We will apply all COVID security protocols. We will have plenty of hand sanitizer and masks available. We ask sellers to wear masks. We encourage social distancing, even if it’s outside and the event is transient, ”she said. “Being on the outside is part of the reason we’re so confident to keep going.”
GVA brings this same sense of caution to a number of other companies. Their gallery space, their classrooms and the new GVA Art Market also respect all the security protocol in force. The revitalized space now features a new selection of premier merchandise created by local artists.
“GVA’s art market is new and is the old gift shop, although it is still a great place to shop for gifts. But now it is a company of 20 members who have formed an artists’ cooperative. They are all really invested and take turns working in space once a month, ”she said. “They will do something on site during their shift and be the duty manager for the day, while they present their job. We recently had George Netherton painted there and everyone loved it. “
Netherton is also a star in another event that GVA is a part of – Georgia Color’s Plein Air. The exclusive painting competition is hosted by Omstead Arts in Atlanta and will be held in partnership with GVA this year. From October 21 to 24, 40 painters will travel to the region to capture the beauty of coastal Georgia on their canvases.
“They come from all over the state and they were selected by a selection committee,” she said. “We weren’t involved in this selection, but we have four artists who were chosen – Jennifer Broadus, George Netherton, Catherine Hillis and Ella Cart, who are all members of GVA.”
While there will be artists positioned from Savannah to St. Marys, there will be a collection of painters working on both St. Simons and Brunswick. Evans says interested members of the public can go watch them as they paint.
Then, the artists will bring their paintings back to the art center where they will be exhibited and available for purchase. There will also be a competition with jury.
“We’re going to explode where the painters will be on our social media channels,” she said.
Several events will be organized in conjunction with the outdoor competition. To begin with, a welcome evening for the artists will be organized at GVA with all the same precautions as at their previous events.
“We will keep food and drink outside. We will have small groups that will move around the gallery to see the paintings in the competition, ”she said.
From the Under the Oaks festival to the growing market and new outdoor event, Evans is excited about the expansion.
“We are embracing a lot of positive changes,” she said. “There are so many good things going on at GVA right now. “