By Susie Scott
Thanks to the hard work of dozens of volunteers over the days, weeks and months leading up to and during the 2023 Mandarin Art Festival, the show came together in rain and shine. Everyone pulled together to fulfill all aspects of the show and ensure the festival was a success. The threat of rain on Saturday never materialized, but there was no denying it was a soggy Sunday. In spite of some drippy weather on Sunday, there were more than 4000 attendees who came through the gates on Mandarin and Brady roads over the weekend.
The show had more than 100 artist exhibitors showcasing their talent in multiple categories from painting, to sculpture to photography to jewelry and more judged by famed artist and Museum Director John Bunker and Ginger Sheridan, an internationally known lecturer and scholar in photography. More than a dozen Green Market vendors participated with their local consumable products for sale. Artists and vendors were fed lunch by Chick-fil-A of Mandarin as a special welcome to our community and its largest event. Krispy Kreme in Mandarin provided doughnuts and the Mandarin Community Club contributed coffee, which kept everyone sweetened and caffeinated to start their mornings.
A dedicated group of volunteers never stopped all week and never slowed down. Volunteers manned the Bake Sale inside the building, while outside the club table sold Mandarin signature merchandise. The Children’s Art Show welcomed the art of 12 local schools for exhibit in the historic Mandarin Community Club building, a show that was judged by local well known artist Pablo Rivera.
The Mandarin Community Club was honored by local artist Julie Fetzer who designed the 2023 Art Festival tee shirts and 100th Anniversary tee shirts sold by the club. Fetzer further supported the Art Festival and the Club’s 100th by personally signing a limited number of items upon request on Saturday.
Activities included an appearance by the Chick-fil-A cow to thrill kids and adults alike and the Spanish Association had authentic and live flamenco dance performances. Local musicians from the Under the Oaks Music Jam at the Walter Jones Park performed live for those dining under the tent. The historic Post Office and General Store manned by the Mandarin Museum was open to all for a step back in time. Members of the Mandarin Masonic Lodge hosted a sand search and Child ID program and Rotary of Mandarin manned the gates for both days to support this event.
There are many heroes who make the Festival possible this and every year since its inception in 1968 and it has grown to become the largest event in Mandarin. See the full list of the many business partners and sponsors on the club’s website at mandarinartfestival.org.
The Mandarin Community Club wishes to thank all for their support as guests and visitors, and those who proved their dedication, commitment, and genuine love for what the Art Fest means to Mandarin. We hope to see you next year for a sunny and successful 2024 Mandarin Art Festival!
Photo courtesy Doris Hastings
Local artist Julie Fetzer with this year’s Mandarin Art Festival t-shirt.