Published first in The State Port Pilot, Southport, NC, Wednesday, June 9, 2021 — Page 3B
The Southport Plein Air Festival will take place Friday and Saturday, June 18-19, and will feature live music and local food trucks. Local arts organization Up Your Arts and the City of Southport are sponsoring the festival, and registered participants have two days to paint anywhere within city limits. On Saturday they will gather and sell their works to the public during the Wet Paint Sale in Keziah Park starting at 4 p.m.
The festival is open to all painters, regardless of age, and registration is free. There is no limit on medium, quantity or size. Artists will receive 100-percent of the proceeds from the sale of their pieces. An awards ceremony will begin at 4:30 p.m.
during the Wet Paint Sale. Mayor of Southport Joe Pat Hatem, MD, will announce the recipient of the Mayor’s Award, and sale attendees will vote for the winner of the People’s Choice Award, who will also have his or her work featured at next year’s Plein Air Festival.
This year’s festival features the work of local artist and resident Rena Powell, who was the 2019 People’s Choice winner.
Several new events have been added to this year’s festival by Up Your Arts. Local classic rock band Back Porch Rockers
will perform on the gazebo stage at Franklin Square Park Friday, June 18, from 6 to 8p.m. Donations will benefit the “Save the Hall, Y’all” campaign supporting transformation of Southport’s old city hall building into an arts center.
A reception for visiting artists is planned at the North Carolina Maritime Museum, Southport, from 4 to 6 p.m. on Friday, June 18, and will feature Gullah cuisine. Up Your Arts will also host live music for the public at Moore Street Market at the same time as the reception, along with a painting demonstration by local artist Joseph Bardani. Plein Air event judges will be the guests of honor, along with Southport elected officials.
On Saturday, Gullah-Geechee storyteller Anita Singleton-Prather is going to be performing on the gazebo stage at Keziah Park during the Saturday Kids’ Plein Air event. Her performances will take place hourly from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Kept alive by descendants of African people brought here as slaves to work on coastal rice and cotton plantations, Gullah-Geechee culture played a significant role in evolution of the region’s arts and crafts, music, food, language
and religious observances.
The Gullah-Geechee region spans the Atlantic coastal area from Jacksonville, North Carolina to Southern Georgia.
Singleton-Prather’s stories will be supported by literature and maps illustrating the efforts currently underway to expand the federally designated Gullah-Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor through Brunswick County, courtesy of the Brunswick County NAACP. Everyone is welcome to attend the two-day festival.