The next big arts festival might be starting in Celadon Village.
The inaugural Celadon Fine Arts Festival brings together artists and crafters for three days starting today at the Lady's Island community.
Close to 30 artisans from the Lowcountry and beyond will be selling their wares, ranging from fine art to pottery to jewelry, this evening, all day Saturday and Sunday afternoon.
Well-known local artists such as painter James St. Clair of Yemassee and sculptor Stephen Kishel of Bluffton are participating. But other artists are coming from five different states, giving the festival a regional draw and a variety of styles, said Dennis Green, Celadon developer and festival founder.
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Green, a longtime art aficionado, said the festival has been in the works for several years, finally getting off the ground with the help from the nonprofit Beaufort arts organization ARTworks to bring in artists.
Green sat on the jury with three others to evaluate about 40 applicants. Botanical watercolorist Pam Kessler will judge the accepted artists, awarding $3,000 in prizes.
The focus is the art, but the festival was designed as a family event, featuring music, entertainment and food. Family Fun Saturday features Jef the Mime, The Generation Gap band and glass artistry for kids by Kathy Oda.
The artist awards that evening give the public a chance to mingle with the artists. Food is available all weekend from 2 Fat 2 Fly Wings, Berry Island Cafe, Bricks on Boundary and Jack Frost.
Green hopes to build the festival even more next year, possibly doubling the number of artists and attracting more out-of-town visitors.
"We thought this could be something good for Beaufort, something that can bring visitors to the area," he said. "I'm hoping we will be able to do this for many years to come."