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More than 190 artists will travel from all corners of Tennessee and nearby states to display and sell one-of-a-kind, handcrafted work at the 42nd Annual TACA Tennessee Craft Fair held in Nashville’s Centennial Park on May 3rd, 4th and 5th. The Tennessee Association of Craft Artists (TACA), a nonprofit, hosts the event each year to fulfill its mission to encourage, develop and promote craft and craftspeople.
For the first time in its long, celebrated history, the spring event welcomes artists from outside the state. Fine craft artists from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia will join Tennessee craftsmen and women on the lawn of Nashville’s Parthenon. Guests of the Fair will see their favorite Tennessee artists return, while enjoying additional booths showcasing the rich craft tradition of the South. At the Fair, visitors will find time-honored and contemporary crafts created with clay, fiber, glass, metal, paper, wood and more.
Each of the artists participating at the Fair has realized a different pathway to Centennial Park. Some have come through professional programs and university art departments, others through mentorships with master craft artists; a handful have learned on their own through trial-and-error and by watching online videos. Some chose craft as their first career, while a few stumbled upon a new passion after retirement. Exhibitor Anderson Bailey of Chattanooga, TN shares his unique journey. “I grew up going to the TACA Craft Fair with my folks. In high school, I returned to the Fair on field trips with art classes. At that time, I got a glimpse behind-the-scenes by talking with the artists on-site. My connection to TACA continued after college when my work was selected for the show. In my first show as a professional artist, I won TACA’s Best New Exhibitor Award. I am thankful to TACA for its inspiration and support of my career.” Despite the various roads travelled, the 191 artists participating in the annual event have one thing in common; all have an intense dedication to craft and create the finest art in our region.
“The Tennessee Craft Fair is a great vehicle that allows us to embrace local and regional artists, recognize their talent, and support their craft. We are honored to play a role in the development of Tennessee artists,” states TACA’s Executive Director, Teri Alea.
In addition to the fine craft synonymous with the event, TACA partners with The Clay Lady’s Studio, Artist Co-op, and Galleries, Platetone Printshop and the Tennessee Association of Woodturners to offer live demonstrations of artists in action. Sawtooth Printhouse will join the demonstrators on-site to produce a limited edition, letterpress poster for the event. Proceeds from sales will directly benefit TACA’s efforts to continue and create Tennessee’s fine craft tradition. Hands on activities will cultivate the creative minds of children in the Publix Kids’ Tent.
Artists will be present with craft available for purchase from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free and open to the public.