Here at TRACE at the W Atlanta-Midtown we enjoy bringing to light local Atlanta events that the entire   family can enjoy. Whether you are in town for the weekend or a native of Atlanta, there is almost always a reason to get off the couch and head out into the city. This week we would like to bring light to the Piedmont Park Summer Arts & Crafts Festival. 2015 marks the 6th year of the Festival and will include over 250 painters, photographers, sculptors, jewelers and art enthusiasts from Atlanta and all over the United States delivering their latest offerings to the city.  
Organized by the Atlanta Foundation for Public Spaces, the Piedmont Park Arts & Crafts Festival offers art lovers two full days to enjoy all the festivities.  Visitors will be able to enjoy live acoustic music, festival foods and great drinks throughout their time at the festival. There will also be a children’s area designed specifically for the younger kids. 
Wondering what makes the Piedmont Park Arts & Crafts Festival special?  Take a look around the city of Atlanta! At any given turn you could be face to face with one of the many pieces of street art located throughout the city. Headed home after a long day of work? Do not be surprised if you see a photographer capturing the city skyline during heavy traffic. You probably have noticed a unique piece of jewelry being worn by a friend or new acquaintance and discover it is an original piece acquired from a local distributor. 

Atlanta is one of the biggest hubs for art which has helped the inhabitants form a special connection to the city. Check out this quote from the Piedmont Park Arts & Crafts Festival website about the city of Atlanta and what the event means for the community.  

“The [M]idtown community of Piedmont Park is considered to be home to one of the largest and most enthusiastic art buying communities in metro Atlanta. The Piedmont Park Summer Arts and Craft festival is bringing back the tradition to Atlanta’s arts community.
We created this festival with these goals in mind: 1) Give back to the community through art; 2) Bring the tradition of the Piedmont Park Arts Festival to the midtown community; 3) Create a festival for Artists by Artists, encouraging the artist have a voice in the creation and operations of the festival; 4) Create a show unlike any other in the City of Atlanta, bringing together outstanding artists from all over the country plus many from right here in Georgia”.  –

We decided to speak with a few of last year’s winners to get their perspective on their art, the Piedmont Park Arts and Crafts Festival and what being in the city of Atlanta meant to them. 
Juan Francisco Adaro | 1st Place Overall
Twitter: @adaroart | Facebook: Click Here

“The Piedmont Park Arts and Crafts Festival was an amazing experience last year! I’ve participated a couple times and hope to be back soon. I heard about the festival by an artist friend that told me to participate so I decided to do so based on his advice. This festival has great people and art lovers. Also the location is beautiful. I’m based out of Grayton Beach, Florida where I have my art gallery, Adaro Art.” 
Kim Lowery | 2nd Place Overall
Facebook: Click Here

“I am a silversmith and I consider my work to be wearable mixed media art or a sentiment. My pieces are all so very personal. I hope that not only do they adorn the wearer, that they accompany them and comfort or empower them. Each piece is a one of a kind and I hand fabricate them, every element of the piece helps convey a message or intent. Last year’s Piedmont Park Arts and Crafts Festival was a brilliant celebration. AFFPS really honored their artists, artisans and crafters. The weather and spirits of the people attending was joyous. My time in and around Atlanta was a tremendous growth period for me as far as my art, I felt the community of art lovers and those who seek out hand crafted goods helped me to believe in my work. I am so very thankful for my time there.”
Michelle McDowell Smith | 3rd Place Overall
Twitter: Michmcdsmit | Facebook: Click Here

“I’d describe my art as whimsical and free. I try to stay true those two words. I also aim to create work that is simultaneously universal yet unexpected. I hope those who view my work find something very familiar and comfortable but yet also new and different. I try to find and use materials in specific ways and with specific meaning. I use maps, sewing patterns, old stamps and many other materials all in very particular ways. I am trying to create something where even the minor details carry meaning and add to the work as a whole. When it comes to the Piedmont Park Arts Festival, I enjoyed being there with the variety of patrons who attended. The festival brought out so many different kinds of people. It was fun to be a part of that. I will be participating again this year. This will be my second year participating. 
I love Atlanta. I visit often but when I am there as a participating artist I find myself really enjoying the park itself. It’s green and grand with such a terrific view of the Atlanta skyline. It’s a great place to soak in the energy of the city.”    

Walter Arnold | Best of Show (Fine Art)
Twitter: @WAPhotog | Facebook: Click Here

“For the last six years I have been creating a fine art photographic series called ‘The Art of Abandonment’. Through this series I travel the country photographing abandoned historic places and things. And through my art, it tells the stories and histories of our nation’s modern ruins. I search for beauty in unexpected places, and through my imagery engage the views imagination and artistically bring these hauntingly beautiful places back to life. Photographically, my work is different from what most people are used to seeing at art festivals and exhibits. I spend a great deal of time getting legal access to places that are typically off limits and behind closed doors. As such, I am able to create engaging scenes in places that most people have not have the opportunity to visit and shoot. 

I love the Piedmont Arts and Crafts Festival. It is such a relaxing atmosphere and honestly I love Atlanta and its residents. The people here really understand and appreciate art in all forms and they support it as well. It's a combination that is not always found in every part of the country.  I will be participating this year! I would not miss it for anything. I'm spending the entire week prepping and making sure I have enough inventory for the show. I honestly can't wait! I love the location of this show. Piedmont Park is in a major metro area but you would never know it while you are there. It's a wonderful green-space for all to enjoy!”

As you can see, this year’s festival has churned out a warm reception from both visitors and participants. The festival will be held this Saturday & Sunday (August 15th & 16th) at Piedmont Park. Hours for Saturday are 10am to 6pm and Sunday 11am to 6pm. This is a completely outdoor event so be sure to dress for the occasion. Also, check out the Festival Map here and the official Piedmont Park Arts and Crafts Festival website for any additional information pertaining to this weekend’s events.