Art Fest celebrates everyday heroes


Some say that not all heroes wear capes, but at this year’s Art Fest that might be appropriate attire anyway. It’s that wonderful time of year for the James Memorial Art Center’s annual Art Fest and the theme of the year is “Celebrating Everyday Heroes.”

Art has a special place in the hearts of the citizens of Williston and the board at the James Memorial Art Center pride themselves in giving our community a place for area artists to display their talents. Sometimes playing the roles of both Bruce Wayne and Peter Parker, The James is also well known for its versatility, hosting some of the town's swankiest parties and more humble church groups. Local art does, in a way, have a hero in The James.

This year’s Art Fest will chalk up to a family fun day with sidewalk chalk competitions for both adults and kids and prizes for both. Famous chalk muralists, The Chalk Twins, will be creating original artwork as well as serving on the judges panel for the sidewalk chalk competitions. The Chalk Twins, Devon and Lexi, are award-winning chalk artists who are also, as name would serve, identical twins. These artists graduated with degrees in studio art from the esteemed Baptist Furman University in Greenville, S.C., and have a “geeky,” or comic book-like, quality to their work.

Along with the Chalk Twins performance will be live performances by area artists, musicians and performers. Area vendors will have delicious food and drinks for sale and the whole family is encouraged to participate. A live auction will graciously say goodbye to some of The James’ one-of-a-kind and signature pieces to worthy art lovers. Proceeds from this will keep the doors of The James open for events like “Artini” and “Out Loud!” as well as keep providing the kids and adult classes that have been growing over the years.

Belinda O’Dell, board member at The James, has enjoyed watching the classes at The James grow and is hoping to offer more fine arts classes to the community soon. Ultimately, that is the real purpose of Art Fest —  bringing the community together in the appreciation of all types of art. Pam Elliot, the day-to-day face and a selfless art lover at The James agreed with this sentiment.

“I really love that this is an event for everyone,” Elliot said. “The whole family will have fun, we have activities for all age groups and it’s so wonderful to be able to support area artists and vendors. We’re really excited about the live music and there will be something new happening all day.”

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