The Gainesville Fine Arts Association will host its 10th annual Fine Arts Fair in Tioga Town Center this weekend, where residents can experience and celebrate Gainesville’s thriving art community.
The three-day fair, which spans from Friday to Sunday, will feature 120 artists, large public art sculptures and a unique blend of talented live music and entertainment.
Karen Koegel, the president of GFAA, said the venue at the Tioga Town Center is perfect for audiences to come up and down the street to see all the different art.
“We have a great mix of artists from here and around Gainesville, as well as out of the state of Florida,” Koegel said.
After throwing this event for a decade, Koegel said the fair continues to get better every year.
“We generally always get very positive feedback, and when it’s negative, we try to make the changes if they make sense,” Koegel said. “You know, an art fair is very difficult to measure from a director’s standpoint. If you have good weather and good artists, you have to trust the audience that they’re going to come and buy enough to make the artists feel that it was worth it.”
Koegel, who stresses the importance and support the GFAA has for young artists, said the event includes a Kid Zone, where parents can bring their kids to do art and be a part of the fair, as well as two booths from the Alachua County Art School for student artists.
According to the GFAA press release, the Kid Zone will feature a local student art show, ceramics for children to paint, Sun Country, S&H Iron Horse Express train, 02B Kids and more activities for kids to enjoy.
For Koegel, a beginning artist herself, it was her drive to be around and learn from other artists that moved her to join the organization, and it’s why she strives to show Gainesville’s youth the world of art.
“The organization is composed of over 300 members of artists from all different mediums who get the benefit of a GFAA gallery for the first time in 93 years,” Koegel said. “Last year was the first time we ever had our own gallery.”
Inspiring artists can go to the gallery, which is located at 1314 S. Main St., and apply to be a part of the GFAA for $50 a year, Koegel said.
While the GFAA has encouraged the celebration and study of the arts since 1923, Koegel said more attention needs to be brought to Gainesville’s talented and prosperous art community.
“There needs to be more unification and more backing and support from the city,” she said.
Koegel said the GFAA will continue to grow and strive to add more unique opportunities to the Gainesville gallery and start fundraising to expand their physical space.
“Our organization was created for artists, and we create means for them to share and sell their art,” she said.
The free event will start Friday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and will continue Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.