By Grace Sammarco
This year's annual River Arts Festival was held over the weekend of October 22. Read more to learn about the significance of this festival and why you should go next year.
Every year since 1984, the River Arts Festival displays the city’s creativity by bringing new and exciting culture into Memphis’ South Main Arts District. In fact, the River Arts Fest goal, as stated on their website, is “to understand how [the art exhibited] came to be, to enjoy all aspects of its creation, and to celebrate its existence.” As a result, the organizers strive to bring a diverse range of art to the festival each year. This diversity was represented most notably this year by the honored poster artist, Ted Faiers, one of Memphis’ most acclaimed artists. Fraiers’ artwork “Looking Up,” completed in 1958, was used as inspiration for the Festival’s advertising poster for this year. The poster was designed with the purpose of displaying the vibrancy of the Memphis community and the River Arts Festival.
The River Arts Fest is not only a part of the Memphis community, but it also strives to give back to that community. The “Art in the Schools” program initiated by the River Arts Fest takes money raised from the event and puts it back into a cause that brings art to schools and gives students various opportunities to express their voices through art. The River Arts Fest truly seeks to give talented artists a voice in every way possible throughout the Memphis community.
St. Mary’s also has a role helping with the children’s booth by the Civil Rights Museum in the festival. Each year, volunteers from the Upper School go and help with the booth’s projects. This year the focus was on mini watercolor masterpieces, making 901 rocks, Senfo cloths, and creative critters. To Jurnee Kelley (11) “encouraging creativity to kids at a young age” is one of the best parts of working with the festival. “It was really nice to be a part of that” she remarks.