Montevallo Arts Fest set for April 22

By NANCY WILSTACH / Community Columnist

Spring has sure enough come to Montevallo.

How can I tell?

The kids are out at Stephens Park in their brand new Montevallo baseball uniforms, uniforms that soon will be showing evidence of the park’s red clay infields. Drive into the park on Shelby County 10 most evenings around 6 p.m. Let down your car window. And listen. You will hear excited voices and the distinctive clunk of a metal bat meeting a baseball.

And the gardening bug bites this time of year, too. Whether you yearn for a few tomato plants in pots on the deck or patio, or you are a devoted vegetable gardener who intends to feed the family from the produce you grow, ’tis the season.

Even if you neither play baseball nor garden, the arrival of spring still is apparent in Montevallo because it is time for the 11th Annual Montevallo Arts Fest. The outdoor gathering in scenic Orr Park is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 22 this year.

For me, this exciting spring event is where I do a lot of my Christmas shopping for the artsy members of my friends and family. Jewelry, pottery, prints, carvings … the avid shopper can find something for almost everyone on her list.

According to Suzanne Hurst, the president of the Montevallo Arts Council, the show is divided into four categories: Fine arts, fine crafts, students and artisans. Those interested in showing their work can apply via the council’s web site: Montevalloartscouncil.org. Click on “Upcoming Events,” and scroll down to the arts festival.

“Exhibitors need to fill out the form and send it along with three photographs of their work,” Hurst said. Those who have not exhibited at Montevallo previously need to send a photo of their booth, she said.

“Anyone who hasn’t done a show before can call us, and we will talk you through it,” she said. The fine arts section of the show is “juried,” meaning there is judging, and there are prizes to be won.

The fine crafts include jewelry and wood carvings. The student section is self-explanatory.

The artisan section is where people demonstrate their crafts for visitors. Here you may see chain-saw art (always a favorite), basket weaving and quilting.

Besides the arts and crafts, the Arts Fest includes food vendors and music.

“New this year are ‘pop-up Shakespeare’ and sword-fighting,” Hurst said. Students will walk through the crowd and periodically stop to proclaim some lines from Shakespeare. The sword-fighting demonstration is tentatively scheduled for late morning, Hurst said.

Last year the event drew 68 exhibitors, she said.

“This year we are hoping once again to have between 65 and 70. We like to have all the entries set by March 31,” she said.