The American Artisan Festival will return for its 43rd year, occupying Centennial Park from June 16-18.
The event has become a veritable Music City institution every Father’s Day weekend, bringing together high-quality crafts and fine art and giving visitors a chance to interact with creators and take home something unique. It has been held at Centennial Park for the last 30 years, moving from previous locations in West End and Bandywood.
The festival was introduced by Nancy Saturn, who was a local art retailer, as a way to get more people connected with the area’s artisans. It is now run by her daughter, Samantha Saturn, who has overseen tremendous growth for the annual fair.
“This year’s event is unique first and foremost because of the incredible artists who are exhibiting at this show,” the younger Saturn says. “It is a very high quality show and it represents some of the finest artists across a broad range of mediums. There truly is something artful and beautiful for everyone at price points that are affordable.”
Attendees can expect to see work ranging from jewelry and ceramics to photography and mixed media from 150 exhibitors, all of whom created their wares by hand, in America, without the aid of production studios or manufacturers abroad.
This year’s rendition will also feature “GROW LOVE,” a flower-shaped labyrinth by Tracy Ginsberg and Theodore Lillie occupying the lawn in front of the Parthenon, thanks to a Thrive Grant from the Metro Arts Commission and ongoing crowdfunding efforts.
“I knew I wanted to do something special to signify the importance of this event and also as an homage to my late parents, Nancy and Alan Saturn, who both loved this festival so very much,” Saturn says. “The artists built the entire structure in California and then tore it down to ship here by truck and rebuild in Centennial Park this weekend.”
In addition to the wares and labyrinth, visitors will be able to enjoy food, craft libations, and live music. In short, it’s an event that should make for the perfect Father’s Day outing.
“Over the years, I myself would go to the kids booth and make something special by hand for my father, as well as shop around for something fun for him,” Saturn says. “Beyond the collection, I also just find that coming to the park and walking the festival as a family outside in the beauty of Centennial Park, listening to great music and enjoying a cold lemonade — or beer — is a pretty good way to celebrate Father’s Day.”