Explore Decatur Arts Festival and Downtown Galleries

Historic Decatur, Georgia is a city that showcases the arts. Located six miles east of downtown Atlanta, Decatur is home to a variety of shops, galleries, and restaurants clustered near its old courthouse square. Each May the city showcases its arts community during the Decatur Arts Festival. More than 70,000 visitors are expected to attend this year’s 25th annual festival, scheduled for May 24-26, 2013. In addition to the festival activities, visitors are invited to explore the city’s downtown galleries. Here are the highlights of the weekend festivities.

The festival kicks off with an ArtWalk on May 24 from 5-10pm. Local shops, galleries, restaurants, and educational institutions in the downtown and Oakhurst areas will host free exhibitions and receptions. One stop on the ArtWalk will be the Dalton Gallery on the campus of Agnes Scott College, located at 141 College Avenue. The college will host a juried fine arts exhibition from May 21-June 2, which will be open to the public from 2-5pm on weekdays and from noon-8pm during the festival weekend.

A highlight of the Decatur Arts Festival will be the juried artists market in downtown Decatur on May 25-26. This high quality market attracts artists from across the Southeast, who will showcase paintings, sculpture, mixed media, ceramics, digital arts, fiber arts, glass, leather, and jewelry. Theater and literary arts activities and presentations will be taking place on the front lawn of the DeKalb History Center at the Old Courthouse on the square. Visitors can enjoy musical entertainment on the performing arts stage at the bandstand. A children’s festival is scheduled for May 25 at Decatur Recreation Center, located at 231 Sycamore Street. The kids can enjoy arts and crafts, inflatables, and music. Food and beverage vendors will be set up at the festival, or visitors may want to try one of Decatur’s popular downtown cafes or restaurants. Admission to the festival is free, and hours are 10am-6pm on Saturday and 11am-6pm on Sunday. Attendees can take MARTA transit to Decatur Station.

There are several downtown galleries that festival attendees may want to visit. The Seen Gallery is located at 415 Church Street. The gallery offers original paintings, photography, sculpture, ceramics, etchings, hand-blown glass, and limited edition prints. Wild Oats & Billy Goats, at 112 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue, specializes in whimsical and colorful folk art. Visitors can browse for paintings, pottery, sculpture, jewelry, and hand-sewn art. Hours are Wednesday-Saturday from 11am-6pm, Saturdays from 11am-7pm, and Sundays from 1-5pm. Rose Squared Gallery & Framing is located on the courthouse square, at 111 Clairmont Avenue. Hours are Wednesday-Saturday from 10am-5pm. The gallery features works by owner JD Isaacs and other artists. The works of metal artist Ivan Bailey are currently being shown. Watercolor and drawing classes are offered.

Decatur Market & Gallery, at 153 Ponce de Leon Place, is a co-op for emerging artists and artisans. Each of the two dozen artists displaying pieces in the gallery works one day each month to greet visitors. The gallery showcases modern art, landscapes, mixed media, pottery, jewelry, and textiles. Hours are Wednesday-Saturday from noon-8pm and Sundays from noon-5pm.