19th annual Saluda Arts Festival celebrates art and culture

Published 11:45 am Monday, May 20, 2024

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SALUDA—On a cool Saturday in Saluda, the 19th annual Saluda Arts Festival graced Main Street with an array of artists and art forms. 

Over 100 skilled artists, each with their unique style and medium, showcased their creations at the festival. From intricate jewelry and vibrant paintings to delicate ceramics and captivating photographs, the festival was a true celebration of diverse art forms. This inclusivity has been a key factor in the festival’s growth, doubling in size and injecting a substantial boost into the local economy.

Local businessman and artist Jim Carson spoke about how the festival has grown. 

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“I was on the committee that originally started the festival, and it’s truly grown over the last two decades, doubling in size,” he says. “Everyone enjoys it, and it’s an event everyone seems to look forward to every spring.” 

Vendor and painter Laura Frisbie of Asheville, who participated for the second year in a row, shared her experience, saying, “This festival has a very special feel. The community really comes out and supports it. It’s really well organized, with great music and good food.” Her words echo the sentiments of many other participants, highlighting the festival’s success and appeal. 

Volunteer and Saluda resident Jackson Land said, “I volunteered because I thought it would be fun, and it’s a fantastic chance to see all the great art on display.”

Saluda resident and ceramics artist Robin Kirby is a regular at the festival. “I’ve done the festival about 15 times, and it’s one of the only festivals I do because it is close to home,” Kirby said. “The turnout is always great.”

Vendors and attendees expressed their appreciation for the festival’s organization and the warm welcome they received from the local residents. Their positive feedback is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the organizers and volunteers, as well as the community’s support. This sense of community is what makes the festival so special and many are already looking forward to next year’s event.