South St. Art Festival a Cultural Hit with Residents & Visitors in Downtown
By Lindsey Perkins Wade
Posted on October 17, 2016, October 17, 2016

Visitors in Downtown

More than 50 art, food and craft beer vendors lined South Street for the fourth annual South Street Art Festival last weekend in the American Dream City, with visits from various musicians each evening to round out the free, three-day event.

"It gives people of the city a chance to be with family, see things they wouldn't see sitting on the couch," Vanessa Gonzales, a 35-year Arlington resident, said between bites of her pecan caramel apple. Her husband and son were catching up with friends in the beer garden, while she and her daughter browsed the artists' booths. "You can find unique and different things you can't find in stores."

The Gonzales family isn't the only one who finds local art festivals appealing. Friends Gail Berlin of Arlington and Hedy Collins of Fort Worth were laughing with each other and having a ball at South Street, incorporating it in their full day of shopping in Arlington after a lunch at J. Gilligan's.

"It's a nice personal experience, getting to meet the artists," Berlin said when describing what she liked about the event, which was presented by Downtown Arlington Management Corp.

Visitors in Downtown

Collins agreed, and showered the festival with compliments from reasonably priced wares to tasty food and some credit to Mother Nature for the good weather. "It's like a baby Main Street," she said.

Both Berlin and Collins purchased wildflower photographs from photographer Sophy Sam of Zenwill. Sam, who takes the saying "say it with flowers" in a different direction, finds letters formed in plants, snaps a picture of buds in various shapes and then encourages customers to spell out any word they like. Berlin and Collins loved finding his prints and bought combinations that spelled out the names of their respective children or grandchildren.

Other unique art at the festival included vintage skeleton key and steampunk jewelry from Jeannette Teal with Key J and interactive demos to create wooden spinning tops from Wortheffort Woodworking's Shawn Graham.

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