49th Annual Fall Tempe Festival of the Arts

tempe festival -1by Nicole Royse

December 1st through December 3rd the Tempe Festival of the Arts brings amazing art, edibles and entertainment to beautiful downtown Tempe in a FREE family friendly event! Highlighting a diverse array of artists working in 16 different visual arts categories including ceramics, jewelry, photography, wearable art, and wood. Since its inception, the Tempe Festival of the Arts has consistently been ranked in the Top 100 Classic & Contemporary Craft Shows in the nation and they are expecting nearly 225,000 visitors this year!

Those heading to Tempe this weekend can explore the festival on Mill Avenue (from 3rd Street to University) daily from 10am to 5:30pm. The street will be lined with about 350 artist booths selected by jury, filled with unique, hand-made artwork. The festival also gives folks the opportunity to meet the artists while shopping an eclectic collection of works.

This year’s featured artist is local mixed-media artist Erin Curry, who was selected by a jurying committee. “Curry’s one-of-a-kind artwork incorporates Nanoliner ink pen drawings on watercolor paper and wood panels, while she is admittedly afraid of needles, they play an imperative role in creating her 3-D shadowbox artwork.”

tempe festival 02Live entertainment is scheduled throughout the event from captivating street performers and entertainment booths set up along the streets to live music. Three different stages will highlight a variety of live music including bluegrass, blues, folk, jazz and rock featuring such artists Bossa Brazil, The Blaise Lantana Band, Walt Richardson, The Hourglass Cats, Desert Dixie, The Brothers Too and other local and regional talent.

Foodies be sure to check out the “Cottage Edibles” section, which includes hand-made gourmet foods, seasonings, cottage crafts and remedies, and festival favorite food. An assortment of fair food and street eats will be on hand including Blue Banjo BBQ, The Crepe Club, Hot Bamboo, Island Noodles — plus food trucks like Hibachibot, The Maine Lobster Lady, Rockabelly, Yellowman Fry Bread, and more.

This year the festival also features two beer and wine gardens where visitors (21 & older) can enjoy beverages on site from local vendors. Visit the Arizona Wine Tasting in Centerpoint Plaza for sampling and purchase of featured Arizona wines, including local award-winning wineries like Burning Tree Cellars, Kief-Joshua Vineyards, Pillsbury Wine Company & Vineyard and others. Or raise a glass and toast with beers and brews from Tempe’s own Pedal Haus, and Four Peaks Brewing Company. Tickets are available on-site for the beer and wine gardens, as well as online in advance.

tempe festival 03The festival offers something for everyone in the family with kid-oriented programming and interactive sponsored exhibits such as Boots in the House, Build-A-Racecar Party, Creative Reuse Arizona, Girls Rock! (a musical petting zoo), Phoenix Youth Circus, Practical Art, and more. Did we mention that Kids Block, a hands-on exhibit will be featuring artwork from over 400 students throughout the valley, Chalk-a-Lot Street where kids and professionals use chalk to create original murals. Visitors can also stop by the ASU Art Museum Ceramics Research Center and Brickyard Gallery (located at the Brickyard on Mill) that includes an intriguing gallery space and open storage combination handled by the Ceramics Research Center with a diverse collection of 3,500 ceramic pieces at any one time.

Get out and explore the 49th Annual Fall Tempe Festival of the Arts this weekend enjoy art, music, and get your holiday shopping done early! For complete details about this weekend’s Fall Tempe Festival of the Arts visit them online here and don’t forget to share your photos throughout the festival!


All images courtesy and copyright of Tempe Festival of the Arts.

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