North Florida’s art scene swings into high gear on Saturday and Sunday, November 14 and 15, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the arrival of the highly acclaimed Downtown Festival & Art Show. The streets of historic downtown Gainesville, from City Hall to the Hippodrome State Theatre will be transformed into a celebration of art and creativity complete with live music, performing arts and a spectacular array of food. More than 100,000 art lovers will fill the streets to enjoy and purchase one-of-a-kind artwork. The festival features 240 local and national artists displaying original oils and acrylics, vibrant watercolors, unique sculptures, dazzling jewelry, decorative ceramics and vivid photography. Children can create their own art at the Imagination Station, a free hands-on art activity area including sidewalk-chalk drawing, painting, mask design, puppet creation, clay sculpting and interactive entertainment. For music lovers enjoy continuous, live entertainment on four stages by local bands, solo musicians and dance companies.
The festival weekend will kick off with a free Downtown Blues Concert on Friday, from 7 to 10 p.m. featuring three incredible blues performances. Local artist Barbara Paul will open the evening with 20th century finger style and slide blues, as she shares her love for the historical stories found in music and the emotions the songs bring forth. Next, The Bridgett Kelly Band conjures up an electric blues vibe that blends classic blues with elements of guitar-driven Texas and Memphis blues. Closing out the evening is, headliner Mac Arnold and Plate Full ‘O Blues with their mix of blues, soul and funk. Mac Arnold was nominated for best Traditional Blues Male Artist at the 2012 Blues Music Awards.