By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
Arts festival runs through Sunday
art fest 09
Cumming First UMC Director of Music John Hutchinson looks over art work that was featured during the 2009 Festival of the Arts. - photo by File photo
Festival of the Arts

• The gallery at Cumming First United Methodist Church is open daily from noon-8 p.m. through Saturday and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday.

• Bach’s Lunch Concert will feature David Brothers Jazz Quartet Wednesday, Hearn & Plato guitar duo Thursday and Hawbecker & Toll organ and trumpet duo Friday. All shows are at noon followed by a $5 lunch available at the Art Cafe.

• Performances of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” are 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $10.

Jim Morrison’s portrait and a porcupine sculpture are on display on the first floor of the church.

A goggle-wearing otter made entirely from scraps of metal and a painting of a cheeseburger rest on the sanctuary balcony.

More than 700 works of art are on display through Sunday during the third annual Festival of the Arts at Cumming First United Methodist Church.

The festival also offers music, dance and theater productions throughout the week.

Each weekday at noon features a Bach’s Lunch Concert (say it out loud), which showcases musical talent from the region. A $5 lunch follows.

Classic City Jazz from the University of Georgia will perform at 7 tonight.

This weekend will feature local actors in a production of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.”

John Hutchinson, the church’s director of music, worship and arts, said this is the first year that the festival has performed the full play rather than just the musical numbers.

Tickets for the play are $10, though all other events and the gallery are free and open to the public.

Hutchinson brought the event concept from his previous church in Louisiana.

“This is the only arts festival in Forsyth County of its kind,” he said.

In three years, the festival has grown “considerably,” he said, adding 100 works of art and school children’s works from eight new schools to this year’s gallery.

The entire festival is funded by private and corporate donations, something Hutchinson said speaks to the number of art patrons in the county.

The art exhibit shows off professional work from across the region, Forsyth student art and preschool works.

This year also features a room for photography, Hutchinson said.

The church and local businesses sponsor several awards, which will be presented for different media to professionals and students in elementary, middle and high school divisions.

Festival-goers can also vote on their favorites by filling out a card at the information desk, Hutchinson said. Audience choice honors will be awarded at each level.

“Amazingly, we generally pick up on the same picture and say ‘that’s the one we want,’” he said.

Much of the professional artwork is for sale, ranging in price from $30 to $6,000, with all the proceeds going to the artist.

Preschool and kindergarten work is also for sale through a silent auction that benefits the church’s preschool, said Neida Streit, the church’s director of communications.

“It is not what you think,” she said. “You think finger painting when you think of that. You have to see it to believe it. It’s gorgeous. Everybody’s like, ‘3-year-olds did this?’”

Artwork has also spilled outside, including a sculpture of cans designed by church youth and a large, fiberglass egg donated by the Sawnee Artists Association.

“There’s art everywhere,” Streit said. “It’s wonderful.”

Peggy Bryant, a church volunteer at the exhibit, said she’s seen a steady stream of people coming through.

She was amazed with the creations on display.

“There’s some really fine work here,” she said. “I think people are impressed with what they see.”