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ArtsFest set for Saturday
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Georgia Southern students Chesea Smith, right, and Savannah Wiersma, both 21, search for their freshly tie-dyed t-shirts during last year's Arts Fest on Sweetheart Circle. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/file

Sweetheart Circle will come alive Saturday as nearly 5,000 people gather to celebrate visual and performing art at the 32nd annual ArtsFest.

This free festival, hosted by the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art at Georgia Southern University, welcomes members of the community to become artists at ArtStops while enjoying performances, food, and the local Artist Market. Festivities will take place from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.

"ArtsFest is way more than just an arts festival, it is a wonderful way to meet others in the community while learning to truly appreciate both visual and performing arts," said Lauren Mullins, public relations intern for ArtsFest.

This year, ArtsFest invites patrons to watch an igniting display as headline performer Balefire brings the magic of fire dancing from Atlanta. Gather around the community stage and rock out with the rising stars of Pladd Dot Music's School of Rock and watch Georgia Southern's Mischief Makers in their performance of trickery.

Creative juices will flow through Sweetheart Circle as festivalgoers create their own artwork at 30 ArtStops. With more community and organizational involvement this year than ever before, there will be many new ArtStops alongside community favorites. ArtStops allow participants to explore types, techniques and mediums of art while learning about various subject matters not always pertaining to fine art. Patrons can paint, sculpt, measure a fish, fractalize art, create paper flowers, tie-dye an ArtsFest T-shirt, graph sound waves, learn to dance and much more - all for free.

Guests can grab some grub and admire one-of-a-kind artwork made by local Artisans in the Artist Market.

"Not only is ArtsFest quite possibly the largest public service event Georgia Southern offers," said ArtsFest Director Stephanie Arends Neal, "it provides a platform for our budding performers to build confidence in a social setting and our young artists to exemplify problem-solving skills by offering multiple perspectives through creative thinking."

ArtsFest is a nonprofit event made possible by community and student volunteers. The Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art takes pride in giving back to the local community while offering events and services to provide students with valuable professional and leadership experience. ArtsFest '14 is supported in part by Georgia Southern's Campus Life Enrichment Committee, the Averitt Center for the Arts, Campus Evolution Villages, Pizza Hut and Wal-Mart.

For a complete list of supporters and festival guide visit ArtsFest at


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