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Crowd Swells Early for Art Fest

Crisp weather brings out shoppers and gawkers en masse for the biggest Fest yet.

Bright sunshine and a crisp breeze set the mood for the first day of the Norcross Art Fest, with inflatables, a new literary arts stage and more adding to the energy of the over 180 artist booths downtown.

The main attraction was, of course, the artwork. From giant, happy metal butterfly chairs to delicate silk and bamboo clothing to fine art photography to massive oil-painted canvases, there was quite a variety of work on display—all of it curated to have a whimsical, fun feel. The festival continues today. 

“Last year, we got really busy right around one, so this is very good,” said organizer Frances Schube around noon, as the streets started filling up. She was pleased that the cheerful, colorful art selected seemed to be giving the crowd a happy buzz. 

Justine Davis showed her unique hats, made on a sewing machine using recycled coils of fabric. The method for sewing the hats together is one that the artist developed herself. “Years and years of planned mistakes,” she joked. 

Davis was a potter and a weaver who was also trained in sewing, so the pieces, which string together interesting fabrics that she picks up at Goodwill, are a combination of all three skills. “It’s really like pottery on a sewing machine,” her husband, Gordon Heritage, chimed in.

Tracy Booth’s set up on S. Peachtree included her work that was selected as the t-shirt design for this year’s festival, which has become the symbol of the show and also identified the many volunteers, who were donning them.  

Nearby, two t-shirt peddlers with wagons worked the crowd wearing bright wigs. “We’re just trying to cure nudity in Norcross,” said one peddler, Richard Stocks, with mock seriousness. “For just a fraction of the cost, you could look this good,” he adds, pointing to his loud outfit to get a laugh. 

Many of the shoppers said they were picking up early—very early—Christmas gifts. Dunwoody resident Michelle Jackson picked up an embellished wine opener early on to give this December—and she planned to keep browsing. “I just like to see what people create,” she said.

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