The leadership of Tallahassee’s LeMoyne Center for the Visual Arts had several announcements about this year’s Chain of Parks Art Festival the evening of Thursday, Jan. 16. But before getting into the new stuff, it seemed appropriate to acknowledge that the Chain of Parks Festival, now marking its 20th year, has grown to a prominence beyond anyone’s expectations.
Just ask Chain of Parks Festival Chair Kelly Dozier.
"We're ranked number three in the nation this year after being ranked number one two years ago," she pointed out. "So we're pretty excited about the progress and future growth!"
One contributing architect of that future is the festival’s new Manager Powell Kreis. She saw her role as broadening the event’s appeal but not messing with those elements that have made it so successful.
"The Foundation and the reputation are there so now it's just giving people even more fun things to do. So that's been my task coming in is coming up with new, innovative ways to get people excited and have even more out-of-town visitors come."
Kreis cited just a few examples of this year’s added attractions.
"We have four artists coming from all over the nation to do these amazing masterworks out of chalk. They'll be three-dimensional so people can sit on them and take cool pictures. That will be really neat and visually stimulating at the festival and we're going to have a festival passport so people can have a scavenger hunt of activities to make the festival extra fun. They'll get a stamp for each activity and the first 100 people completing the (passport) will get a prize."
But festival-goers also enjoy the more traditional kinds of announcements, as Dozier revealed which participating artist’s work was chosen as the signature image of this year’s happening.
"Kelly Rysavy will be our cover artist. She's a local artist who spends part of her timie in Tallahassee and part in Carrabelle. And she's done a beautiful piece that represents the festival and our 20th anniversary."
Another element that was added more recently was live music as part of the Festival experience. Kreis says that continues this year.
"We'll have live music all day, but then at night we're going to have our Saturday Night Groove with Tallahassee Live and they're so wonderful! That will get everybody dancing. They were there last year and everybody had the best time, so we're really excited they're coming back."
Dozier had one more big reveal to share.
"We are also announcing our partnership once again with Opening Nights," she said. "We're bringing in presenting artist Michael Rosato who did the mural of Harriet Tubman at Baltimore, went to school at FSU, so he loves Tallahassee and he's excited to be invited to be our presenting artist on Thursday night (April 17) before the festival."
The 20th Annual LeMoyne Chain of Parks Art Festival is set for April 18th and 19th in downtown Tallahassee.