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Shop one-of-a-kind creations in Hamilton

Posted on Monday, February 18, 2013 at 1:16 pm

Artists from throughout the southeastern United States will be in the North Alabama community of Hamilton offering one-of-a-kind creations and masterpieces during the eleventh annual Jerry Brown Arts Festival (JBAF). Hosted by the Northwest Alabama Arts Council, 42 artists have been handpicked to exhibit at this year’s event set for March 2-3, 2013 which returns to Hamilton for the eleventh year, bringing with it a Top 20 Event in the Southeast recognition by the Southeast Tourism Society. 

With an eminence for quality folk art, JBAF offers two days of art exhibition headlined by Smithsonian potter and Hamilton, Ala. resident Jerry Brown and returning special guest artist Charlie “The Tin Man” Lucas of Selma, Ala. The 42 artisans who will be on hand will be presenting “slowly made, homegrown art” on the theme of “Reflections of the South” from diverse media including pottery, fabric art, ironwork, metalwork, paper art, glass art, gourds, and others. This year’s special guest artists will be brothers Ian (13) and Evan (9) Terrell, gifted young painters from Nashville, Tenn. 

This year’s event will be held in the City of Hamilton’s Colby Building, located off Highway 278 East. Due to the reduced floor space, JBAF was forced to reduce the number of artists from 70, as it has been for the past two years, to 42. While the number of artists has been reduced due to the smaller facility, this year’s festival will feature the best of the best including three former best in show winners-Denise Brown (pottery), Linda Lindale (fiber/jewelry), and Helene Fielder (pottery and clay sculptures). A new addition for this year is bonsai miniature trees, which is an ancient oriental art as presented by Conley, Ga., resident Huiying Lee. 

Artists from Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, and North Carolina will be demonstrating throughout the weekend and will include potters, painters, textile, glass-blowing, broom-making, quilting, jewelry-making, and a special demonstration added this year-chair caning. There will be a Kids’ Art Station where children can paint and make small clay items at no charge. There will also be a special educational display by the Echota Indian tribe and a special exhibition by the photo club of the Northwest Alabama Arts Council.

 The prestigious Southeast Tourism Society selected the festival as a Top 20 Event for March 2013, a title it has earned three times in the last five years. The festival honors Hamilton’s Jerry Brown, a ninth generation potter whose work can be found in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. Brown was awarded the National Heritage Fellowship in 1992, as well as receiving numerous merit awards and in 2003, he was awarded the Alabama Heritage Award from the Alabama Arts Council.Also present at the festival will be Blue the Mule, who faithfully helps him mill his clay for his pottery. For more information, on Brown and his mule, visit www.jerrybrownpottery.com

Festival hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free. For more information, visit the festival’s official web site at www.jbaf.org or call 205.921.9483.   

About Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association (AMLA)

AMLA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion and development of the travel industry within the 16 northernmost counties of the state. It is supported by 500-plus members consisting of chambers of commerce, Convention & Visitors Bureaus, attractions, campgrounds, festivals, communities, counties, golf courses, restaurants, tour operators, accommodations, vendors, financial institutions and individuals. Counties included within the AMLA region are Blount, Cherokee, Colbert, Cullman, DeKalb, Etowah, Franklin, Jackson, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Morgan and Winston. Additional information on North Alabama destinations, accommodations and special events is available from the AMLA by calling 800.648.5381 or by visiting their web site at www.northalabama.org.