41st Gainesville Arts Festival takes over downtown Gainesville

The festival took a new direction under its new director
Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 10:37 AM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - The 41st annual Gainesville Arts Festival was held this weekend.

More than 200 vendors took over the streets of downtown Gainesville on Saturday and Sunday as the area shut down for the festival.

“It’s a time to pause and appreciate art in all its forms be it music, dance, culinary arts, visual arts,” said Festival Director Chelsea Carnes. “It’s a time where we literally stop traffic, stop what we’re doing, pull over, lock up your bicycle and walk around downtown and the streets become an art gallery.”

2022 was Carnes’ first year as the director of the festival. She said she put her own spin on the festival this year as she tries to take it in a new direction.

There were two main points of emphasis under her direction: performance art and featuring young North Central Florida artists.

“Normally there’s upwards of 30 performing acts, this year there was upwards of 50,” said Carnes. “Normally there’s four stages, this year we had six stages. So really adding to that, pouring some attention into that performing arts aspect.”

Carnes also said she wants to build a pipeline for young artists to begin featuring their work in the festival for years to come.

“So we have an emerging artists program that we launched this year that paid three artists who had never participated in the festival before to come be apart of the festival, sell their work, showcase their work,” said Carnes.

As for artists that have been in the festival for years, one in particular described what keeps them coming back.

“Nothing better than getting the whole community out because I think we are a town that people like to interact and see each other socially as families and as old friends,” said Peter Carolin. “We’re a community that likes to gather together.”

Carolin has had his work in the festival for about 30 years.

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