October 11, 2021

Get your art fill at this two-day festival in Northport

3.3 min read

If Tuscaloosa’s legacy is the Crimson Tide football team, then its sister city Northport’s is an incredibly rich arts scene fostered by the Kentuck Art Center. Located in downtown Northport, the Kentuck Art Center provides year-round programming meant to grow excitement for the arts while building community. 

Every year, the center hosts the Kentuck Arts Festival, a two-day event featuring more than 270 artists from all over the country. In addition to visual arts, the festival is also known for live music, children’s activities, food trucks, craft beer, spoken word, craft and maker demonstrations, and more. It typically creates a $5.5 million economic impact for the small but spirited town of Northport.

After taking a hiatus due to COVID-19 in 2020, this year marks the festival’s 50th anniversary. The festival will be held on October 16 and 17 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Northport’s Kentuck Park. Tickets are $10 per day or $15 for a weekend pass. 

Festivalgoers have the opportunity to browse and buy the works of artists working across all types of media, from clay and fiber to metal, printmaking, photography, and wood. Artists come from near and far to show their pieces in a supportive environment with a dedicated community that appreciates and celebrates their work. Check out three Alabama artists exhibiting at this year’s festival:

Guadalupe Pots (Huntsville)

Guadalupe Lanning Robinson began working with clay more than 35 years ago. The intricately engraved ceramic pots she creates by hand represent a harmonious unification between her upbringing in Mexico City and her current residence in the Deep South. Her pieces get their distinctive Aztec look both in color, design, and texture in part because of Guadalupe’s decision to fire her works sans glaze. Instead of relying on glaze, she plays off the natural color of clay—from dusty reds and deep greens to rich shades of brown—to add life to her work. You can find her work at LOWE Mill Art Studio in Huntsville and at the festival at booth H-15. 

(Guadalupe Pots/Facebook)

Handweave Decor (Birmingham)

What started as a passion project after moving to Birmingham from D.C., has become a full-blown business for artist Edina Shrestha. She’s been making one-of-a-kind handcrafted jewelry since 2005. Her striking pieces fuse handmade stones and beads with natural metals for a regal, unmistakable look that’s completely her own. With roots in Nepal, Edina hopes to capture a sort of “East meets West” look with her designs and bring something entirely new to the market. Edina’s work can be found at a multitude of local and regional art festivals throughout the year. Her booth at Kentuck is at F-8.

(Handweave Decor/Facebook)

R.C. Hagans (Auburn/Opelika)

Mixed media artist R.C. Hagans’ work is in a class entirely of its own. Equal parts fine, folk, and street art, his pieces often defy reality and instead invite viewers to a parallel dimension where decay and evolution play equal roles in creating a universe. The former cage-fighter and self-described vandal often draws on imagery from pop culture, punk rock, and religion to create his works. You can find his murals all over Auburn and Opelika, as well as in Charleston, Florence, and Huntsville. He even created work for the entrance to the Bonnaroo music festival in 2016. His Kentuck booth is at K-10. 

(R.C. Hagans/Facebook)

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