Art Is at the Heart of the AMA’s 6th Annual Festival
The Heart of Albany Festival will have live music and entertainment, activities and games, food trucks, libation stations, and vendors, but art is at the heart of the Albany Museum of Art’s 6th annual fall festival.
Presented by Publix and the James M. Barnett, Jr. Foundation, this year’s event is 10 am-5 pm on Saturday, Nov 4 at the Albany Museum of Art, 311 Meadowlark Drive. Admission is free for everyone.
Conceived in 2018 as AMA ChalkFest, the festival has a new name this year and a new location—the grounds at the AMA—but art being created before your eyes is still front and center at the festival. In addition to nine professional chalk artists competing for Best of Show, two-time festival champion Jessi Queen is creating a large 3D chalk artwork that will be ready to see when the event opens.
Returning to create artworks that are 49-square-feet or larger on the pavement are pro artists Heather Cap, of Fayetteville, who won the inaugural 2018 contest; Shannon Brooke, of Murfreesboro, Tenn.; Luqman Coffen, of Stone Mountain; Fawne DeRosia, of Thomaston; Lata Fields, of LaGrange; Daniel Foy, of Thomaston; Sherri Harris, of Bishop, and Brittany Williams, of Atlanta. Making her Heart of Albany festival debut this year is Kristi Oakes, of Savannah.
“It is amazing to see these large, ephemeral works of chalk art being created on the pavement while you watch,” AMA Executive Director Andrew J. Wulf, Ph.D., said. “We expect Jessi’s artwork to be a popular spot for festival visitors when they pose for photos.
“Each of these artworks is unique, and with the nature of chalk, will only last for a limited amount of time. These are artworks that can only be experienced in person, and only for a limited amount of time. Once the opportunity passes, it will never come again. If you miss out on The Heart of Albany Festival, you will never get the chance to see these chalk paintings the way they are meant to be seen.”
Along with the professional chalk artists, amateurs have signed up to compete in school and community categories. The school teams are sponsored by Fleming & Riles Insurance, and community artists are sponsored by Phoebe.
“Chalk art is a big part of our festival, but we are expanding our art demonstrations,” Wulf noted. “This year we have a wonderful array of talent in different disciplines. We shall continue to build upon that each year.”
Chris Johnson, a Columbus printmaker and muralist whose work can be seen on outdoor walls in Albany and throughout Georgia, will return with a steamroller that he will use to print t-shirts and other items. Making their debuts as demonstrating artists will be painter Megan Lisenby, zines and booklets creator Frankie Beans, painter Crystal Moore, candlemaker Rindi Culberson, professional face painter Brittany Atteberry, book artist Janine Sarti, and Lauren Dorminey’s Wild Herbs & Co. cottagecore. School groups and individuals also will be creating chalk art images throughout the day.
Wulf said one of the reasons for conducting the Heart of Albany Festival at the AMA this year was to “show off” the museum on the cusp of its 60th anniversary in 2024, as well as the 40th anniversary this year at its current location, which just off Gillionville Road and adjacent to the west campus of Albany State University.
“We wanted to invite everyone to our home,” he said. “While they are enjoying the festival on the museum grounds, we hope many of them also will come inside to see the wonderful exhibitions we have in our galleries and the AMAzing Space activities center that many area residents regularly bring their children to enjoy. Best of all, like with our festival, admission to the museum is free for everyone.”
As announced earlier, entertainment will begin on the James M. Barnett, Jr. Foundation Stage in front of the museum at 10 am with DJ Planet X, who will also keep things rocking between performances. The Illustrious Ladies of DC, Dougherty High School’s cheer and dance team, will perform at 10:15 am. At 10:45 am, Ballet Theatre South will give festival-goers a preview of its upcoming Nutcracker production, and Westover High School singer/songwriter Brinlynn Nevaeh will wrap up the morning with an 11:30 am performance.
The afternoon will bring the festival’s featured performers to the stage. Singers in The Row—Cliff Corr and Aaron Lee—perform noon-2 pm, with Evan Barber on stage 2:30-4:30 pm. The winner of Best of Show in the professional chalk art competition will be announced immediately after Barber’s performance.
Kids will be able to visit animals from Chehaw, jump in the bounce house, build with the Big Blue Blocks, and enjoy games and activities including face painting by the AMA Teen Art Board throughout the day. Kids who attend will receive complimentary packs of chalk–thanks to sponsor the WebstaurantStore–so that they can join in the artmaking fun.
The vendor village will include artists, retailers and non-profit organizations, and festival-goers will be able to grab a bite to eat or a treat at the HeartFest Food Truck Row.
Festival-goers who are 21 and older can purchase wristbands and tickets for adult drinks beginning at noon. Presentation of a valid ID is required to purchase drinking tickets.
Parking signs on Meadowlark Drive will direct motorists to parking areas. VIP parking will be in the AMA parking lot, with general parking in the Albany State University parking just southeast of the museum.
In addition to Publix and the James M. Barnett, Jr. Foundation, The Heart of Albany Festival is sponsored by Flint Community Bank, Vine Vision, Fleming & Riles Insurance, Phoebe, WebstaurantStore, Bridge Import Group, Adams Exterminators, Edward Jones, J&J, F&W Forestry, JLA, Synovus, Albany Internal Medicine, LRA Constructors, the Offices of William F. Underwood, III, P.C., Moreschi Pediatrics, Ambetter Peach State Health Plan, and Perfect Strokes. HeartFest Partners are WALB, The Albany Herald, Southwest Georgia Living Magazine, Retro FM 102.1, AAA Concrete Products & Materials, Smile Doctors, 4imprint, and the City of Albany.
“Our festival has a new name, but the art and fun will continue as we work to make it better each fall,” Wulf said. “Thanks to the support of our generous sponsors and partners, we are able to offer this celebration of art and community to the public with free admission. The Albany Museum of Art strives to be a clubhouse for everyone, and The Heart of Albany Festival is one of the ways we do that.”
To learn more, visit The Heart of Albany Festival website HERE.
- Land That I Love, works by Ashley Cecil, is in the Haley Gallery Sept 7, 2023-Jan 6, 2024.
- Familias, works by Ramiro Davaro-Comas, is in the East and Hodges Galleries Sept 7, 2023-Jan 6, 2024.
- Southern Visionaries: Self-Taught Artists From the AMA Permanent Collection is in the McCormack Gallery Sept 7, 2023-Jan 6, 2024.
- Escape Plan, an installation by Elinor Saragoussi, is in the West Gallery.
ABOUT THE ALBANY MUSEUM OF ART
The Albany Museum of Art is located at 311 Meadowlark Drive in Albany, Ga., adjacent to Albany State University West Campus just off Gillionville Road. The museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The Albany Museum of Art is open to the public 10 am-5 pm Tuesdays through Saturdays. Admission is free.