The event featured 30 artists, most of them from the Cherokee Heights neighborhood, selling items ranging from including paintings, photographs, woodwork, as well as decorative fabric, soap and Christmas ornaments. It also included performances from musical acts like the Emerson Drummers, Symphony on the Square and the Pine Street Missionary Baptist Church Youth Choir.
“The whole neighborhood does it,” said organizer Jim Morris. “Some will say, ‘I do this. I want to try my hand at that.’”
Morris, who cuts, shapes and welds decorative metal art, said Saturday’s event was the busiest they have had.
“I think it’s because of the great word of mouth publicity,” said Morris, who lives on nearby Freyer Drive. “It’s such a unique venue. It’s not like having a bunch of people gathered on the Square for a bunch of the same thing.”
Lars Finderup, his 13-year old son Erik and girlfriend Donna Barnhart, set up a booth at the event for the first time to sell bronze jewelry, Christmas crafts and decoupage. Lars Finderup, who lives on Seminole Drive, said he has been making art for years, but producing items for the festival was a new challenge.
“This is not something intended as a commercial venture,” he said. “It’s something we do because we love to do it. It’s rewarding to sell something, but peddling your wares is not in my DNA.”
Lars Finderup says the festival shows off the neighborhood, located just above North Marietta Parkway.
“I think it says this is a really desirable place to live,” he said. “There’s a lot more sense of community than there is in any suburb. It give a great sense of belonging, you’re not just living in a box in a random place.”
Of course, no festival is complete without food, and this event didn’t have typical corn dogs and cheese fries. It featured sandwiches from MaSani Gourmet Southern Cuisine on Cobb Parkway. Executive chef Harold J. Howard III, himself a resident of Cherokee Heights, said the “upscale gourmet Southern food” adds to the event.
“I think what makes it special is you have local businesses,” he said. “I think so many times you have corporate sponsors or corporate America, and these are local artists, local businesses. Everything is local.”
Bernadine Minnir of west Cobb, 58, said she came to the Cherokee Heights Arts Festival after seeing its distinctive signs along Cherokee Street.
“It’s small, but I like that about it,” she said. “It’s homier and you get to see a number of different items, not 50 of the same thing.”