Local artists from across the Tri-Cities will gather at Cumberland Square Park on Saturday for the second Bristol in Bloom Appalachian Regional Art Festival.
Marcy Parks, a local artist and the founder and festival organizer, explained that she started the festival as a way to spotlight local artists who might otherwise leave the Tri-Cities. The event provides them with an event through which they get to share and sell their art and connect with their fellow regional artists.
"Growing up over the years, a lot of my very talented and artistic peers were moving away because there just weren't opportunities for artists in this region, and so I love this region so much, and I am raising my family here. I don't want to leave this area. So, I decided to start an event that that would fill that void," Parks said. "It's a way to create connection between artists, to create connection between community members and artists, to create connection between community members and artwork in itself. It's really at its core about creating connection and community."
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There will be around 70 artists from Southwest Virginia, Northeast Tennessee and Western North Carolina taking part in the 2022 Bristol in Bloom Appalachian Regional Art festival.
There will be three interactive art pieces this year, including the Williams Wall, which is returning for a second year, to collect and set fire to more burdens, Parks own Butterfly Garden: A labor of love origami butterfly installation, as well as an interactive murder mystery art installation.
"There are two new interactive art installations. The butterfly garden: A labor of Love, so this is an installation of 1,600 Origami butterflies that I folded myself," Parks said. "Then the third interactive art installation is the murder mystery, which is put together by Chance Cook and Cody Leonard."
There will also be a live statue performer, who will come to life and perform for a quarter, as well as a variety of activities for kids organized by the Girl Scouts, the William King of Museum of Art, and Miss Amy's LLC.
Top Stitch Studios will offer sewing activities, and Reshma Patel will be offering free Mehndi (Henna body art) at the festival.
The art festival is free and starts at 10 a.m.
The first live art demonstration starts at 11 a.m., with art talks happening on the Cumberland Square Park stage beginning at noon.