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26th Annual ArtsFest at GSU Saturday
Arts fest file
In this file photo from the 2007 Arts Fest, an artist shows some of his work to festival goers. The 2008 Arts Fest is scheduled for Noon-5 p.m Saturday in Sweetheart Circle at Georgia Southern University. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/file
    Georgia Southern University will host its 26th annual celebration of the arts Saturday when ArtsFest ’08 takes place on Sweetheart Circle. Running from noon until 5 p.m., the event is free of charge and open to the public.
    Julie Kozee, director of this year’s ArtsFest, is a GSU alumnus and staff member in the University’s Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art who has taken part in ArtsFest for more than a decade. She said the show will go on — rain or shine.
    “First and foremost, if it’s raining, we’ll just move inside to the art building and the new Center for Arts and Theatre,” said Kozee.
    The festival will include the traditional art stops and an artists’ market. There will also be performances by Savannah Irish folk singer Harry O’Donoghue at 2 and 4 p.m. and the Curious Moon Puppets from Brunswick, Ga. Kozee said there is also a new musical feature for 2008.
    “The Battle of the Bands is a new thing this year,” said Kozee. “From 12 — 2 p.m., three bands will perform and the audience will get to vote to see who walks away with $200.”
    Art Stops will include an opportunity for visitors to “Paint a Pet” for the Humane Society and make cards to support our troops.  Participants can also use clay, paint, and create jewelry using “Bead for Life” beads.
    More than a dozen vendors have registered for the Artists’ Market, including Bill Stephens, known as “The Wood Man,” and photographer Wendy Chambers. Student groups including Club Mud, the Jewelry Guild, the Print and Paper Society, and the Department of Art’s own MFA students will display and sell their work.
    One of the features of the festival is “Beads for Life.” Olivia Carter, a local high school student, will have colorful single and multi-strand necklaces, bracelets, earrings, bags and note cards for sale made from beads. The beads, created from rolled paper, are made by Ugandan women who sell them as a way of providing food, shelter and medical care for their families. All proceeds will go toward helping the people of Uganda.
    “This year’s celebration will be a great day for families to come out and enjoy the arts,” said Kozee. “There will be an arts opportunity for everyone, young and old, to take part in and enjoy.”

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