Old Fourth Ward Arts Festival Crowns a Champion

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    The Old Fourth Ward Arts Festival took place brought hundreds of artists and art lovers together for food and festivities over the weekend.

    Artists from all over the state participated in the June 29-30 event to share their talents and make potential sales in the process.

    “I think it’s a good way to expose people to your work,” said Rob Simmons, a professional photographer. “I’ve been pretty successful at being able to show up at an arts festival, sell lots of work, have people recognize that work and have people follow up with me.”

    Simmons sold original photos of well-known and unique sites of Atlanta, unlike many of the other photographers at the festival.

    Atlanta festivals like Piedmont Park Fest, Dogwood and Auburn Fest are booming during the summer, not only bringing attention to the participants but also the Atlanta area.

    “Most large cities have a number of festivals that are known for one thing or another,” said Cliff DeMarks, music vendor and owner of giftshopmusic.com. “Most of them have been going on for 25, 35 years so I think it’s good for Atlanta. I think we need them.”

    Paintings, pottery, jewelry, blown glass and soy candles were on display out of many selections, all entered for a possibility to place in the festival’s competition. Out of hundreds of vendors, there could only be one winner and this year it was photographer Chris Mason.

    “I have won first place before but it feels great. Every time you win, it makes you feel great about your art,” said Mason. “It’s a beautiful thing, I love it.”

    The competition for first place and the two-day event was open to all ages. Aside from a plethora of artwork, fresh barbeque, beer stands and live music was available to the crowd. A designated fun area was also set aside for the youngsters.

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