Montevallo Arts Fest sees record turnout
By SCOTT MIMS / Staff Writer
MONTEVALLO — Finding a parking place at Montevallo’s Orr Park on Saturday, April 17 was nearly as challenging as finding all of Tim Tingle’s original tree carvings.
Tingle was among the 70 artists who set up for the show, which was the 14th event of its kind and saw a record-setting crowd between 3,500 and 4,000 people, according to event coordinator Suzanne Hurst.
Art and artists of all kinds could be found lining the park’s trails—stained glass, photography, painting, sculptures, fabric, woodworking and many more. There were also 10 food trucks, five musicians and six information booths, in addition to children’s events such as coloring a copy of the Montevallo mural, balloon art and an educational exhibit of snakes.
“The turnout was fantastic!” Hurst said. “It was the largest turnout we have had in the 14 years we have been doing the show. Most of the artists I have talked to said they had the best day they have ever had. This was also one of the largest turnouts for artists as well.”
The festival serves as the signature event and fundraiser for the Montevallo Arts Collaborative, but Hurst said the group took in less than $2,000 from this year’s show. She explained it is largely for the benefit of the community.
“It is more of a community event to showcase our wonderful town, our beautiful Orr Park and local as well as out of area artists,” she said.
Hurst is the event coordinator for the Collaborative and served as president for the past 11 years. This year, the group welcomed a new president in Melanie Pool. Hurst gave credit to Pool and the Collaborative Board for their efforts.
“In light of the pandemic, I think it was especially important for people to be able to get outside, see other people, participate in an event and support local artists and businesses,” Hurst added. “We are a social people and that has been missing from our lives for the past one and a half years. I think everyone felt good about being there.”
Hurst wished to thank the following sponsors: Cahaba Timber, Dr. Bobby Shunnarah, Montevallo Main Street Program, Pic’ n Sav Grocery, University of Montevallo College of Fine Arts, City of Montevallo, Tinglewood Festival, The Original Alabaster Newsletter, Montevallo Chamber of Commerce, McDonald’s Black Family Restaurants, Team Lehman, Law Offices of Christopher R. Smitherman, Blue Phrog Gallery, Falcon Art Supply, Scott Owen Gallery, Trustmark Bank, Montevallo Drug, Vinzant Home, Tractor Supply Company, Rockco Funeral Home, Red Sparrow Investments, Tobacco Plus, April Weaver for State Senate, and Lelco Freight Systems.
She also thanked volunteers who helped throughout the day from Montevallo Middle and High School, the University of Montevallo, Shelby County, many local residents and some not so local.
“The Montevallo Arts Collaborative supports other events such as the Tinglewood Festival on Sept. 11 this year, October Artwalk on Main Street, and other events going on in town,” Hurst said. “We also hope with the easing of COVID, we will be able to begin art classes at our facility, Spark, adjacent to the recycle center. Art is not just visual art but encompasses writing, music, crafts and anything that lets the person express and convey a part of themselves for others to see and enjoy.”