Familiar faces, new vendors expected for oldest art festival
Mountain Artists Guild's Fine Art & Crafts Festival
As the Mountain Artists Guild continues to celebrate 70 years this year, this weekend sees its 69th annual Fine Art & Crafts Festival, Prescott’s oldest downtown art festival.
This year’s festival has an interesting mix of artistic participants, both familiar faces and new vendors, Mountain Artists Guild Executive Director Pauline Gravier said.
“One thing that I’m excited about is that we seem to be pulling a lot of artists from down in the Valley and Scottsdale area,” Gravier said. “So we have a couple new painters, a new glass artisan and also … metalworker all from the Scottsdale area that are new to the festival.”
Last year’s festival had every space filled, something that typically doesn’t happen, Mountain Artists Guild President Cathleen Rainey said. However, the guild has been doing better thanks to the response from the community, Rainey said. A couple of the vendors at last year’s show said they had their best show ever as well, Gravier said.
The festival opens at 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 10-11, at the courthouse plaza. It’s exciting that the Mountain Artists Guild has been able to be a force in the community for as long as it has, having been the first organization to start putting on festivals downtown, Rainey said.
“That’s exciting to have that sense of history in the Prescott area,” she added.
It also is not a commercial endeavor for the Mountain Artists Guild, which has only one full-time paid employee, Rainey said. The money that comes in from the vendors goes toward supporting the guild’s outreach in the community and maintaining the building where it has its veterans art program, open studios, workshops and kids camps, she said.
Not only do vendors come up from the Valley, but so do people coming to check out the show in their escape from the heat, Gravier said. There’s also people from outside the state and from outside the country who come as well. Whoever comes is going to find a variety of art at a quality that can’t be found outside of this show, Rainey said. There will be a variety of things available including food, cottage edibles, fine art, yard art and metalwork, and with it being a juried show, the guild has looked at every vendor, she said.
“It’s just such a variety that you’re going to find something that sings to you,” Rainey said. “There’s so much to see and so much opportunity to fall in love with something.”
For more information about the 69th annual Fine Arts & Crafts Festival, visit www.mountainartistsguild.org. Admission is free.