HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – It is considered one of the premier weekends to celebrate art and artists in the southeast. This year, the 2016 Panoply Arts Festival will celebrate its 34th year in downtown Huntsville. It will take place April 29-May 1 at Big Spring Park in downtown Huntsville.
Art enthusiasts come from near and far to gaze upon and purchase art works of all kinds during this annual event. Leaders with Arts Huntsville gathered Thursday to share some of the highlights planned for this year’s festival.
This year more than 50 performances will span three stages. Classical to contemporary, rock to bluegrass, and everything in between can be found at Panoply. On Friday night the Festival’s Showcase Stage will welcome Panoply newcomer Hannah Thomas. Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls (a 2015 Panoply headliner) describes Hannah’s music as “the soul of old country… but she’s also a die-hard rocker with some punk thrown in the mix.” Afterward, one of Huntsville’s favorites Unknown Lyric returns to the Showcase Stage with their urban rhythms and grooves paired with strains of Beethoven and other classics.
To close out the night, north Alabama’s own The Pollies come off their tour of the Southeast to headline the Friday night lineup with music from their genre-defying LP Not Here, their first release with Single Lock Records, founded by John Paul White of The Civil Wars.
Saturday highlights Huntsville’s own throughout the day as the festival features the best in area dance and musical performances. Local favorites Bourbon and Shamrocks, Josh & Judy Allison, Wolves of Chernobyl and more will play for Panoply attendees. Big Daddy Kingfish and Whiskey River kings will take the Showcase Stage ahead of Saturday night’s headliner, Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors.
Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors have been featured on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and heard on popular TV shows like How I Met Your Mother, Parenthood, Criminal Minds, Nashville and more. The band has sold out Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, played Bonnaroo and Hang-Out Fest, and toured with The Avett Brothers. The band’s most recent album Medicine, their ninth release, debuted in January 2015 as a Billboard Top Ten Folk and Indie Album.
On Sunday festivalgoers can enjoy back-to-back performances by Kush, Mambo Gris Gris and Microwave Dave on the Showcase Stage.
Art Marketplace & Art Investors
Presented by TOYOTA Motor Manufacturing of Alabama, the juried Art Marketplace at Panoply is one of the most popular features of the festival. Showcasing 85 fine artists from 10 states, the Marketplace provides prime shopping in a beautiful setting over the Monroe Street bridge. Of the 85 exhibitors, 37 are new to the festival and more than 15 local artists will showcase their work.
This year also marks the return of Art Investors. Local art enthusiasts can take advantage of the festival’s Art Investors program, giving ticket buyers the opportunity to enjoy exclusive shopping in the Marketplace before the festival opens to the general public on Saturday morning. Your $75 ticket treats you to a Panoply experience that includes a weekend pass to the festival, the exclusive Saturday morning shopping, a light brunch and $25 in tokens to spend with the Panoply artist or artists of your choice. Art Investors Tickets can be purchased at artshuntsville.org.
Arts in Action – Attendees can celebrate the Year of Alabama Makers at Panoply Arts in Action tents where regional artists will offer demonstrations of their craft and festivalgoers can get a first-hand look at the process of screen printing, pottery, silversmithing and more.
Panoply Poster Artist
Arts Huntsville member and local watercolor artist Starr Weems was selected to create the official 2016 Panoply Arts Festival poster.
Ms. Weems specializes in watercolor pouring and her work has been displayed at Kentuck Museum, Lowe Mill and Birmingham Public Library (among others) and has been featured in various publications throughout the Southeast. When she isn’t painting, Ms. Weems works with teens at Ardmore High School, where she has served as an art educator for 15 years.
“Star Weems’ watercolor work embodies the nature of Panoply as it fills Big Spring Park with art and music for one wonderful weekend each year and leaves us inspired and refreshed,” said Cathy Callaway, Arts Huntsville board president. “This year we are also thrilled to showcase an area art educator as our Panoply poster artist as we want to salute the important work art teachers do in our schools each day.”
Online Ticketing and Weekend Pass
As a new feature for festivalgoers in 2016, Arts Huntsville is offering a special weekend Panoply pass available online in advance for just $18. The pass offers an affordable way to enjoy Panoply’s diverse entertainment all weekend. Weekend passes are only available until 4:00 p.m. on April 29, 2016. Day passes are $10 and can be purchased in advance online or at the event. Tickets are on sale now at artshuntsville.org. Children 12 and under are free of charge.
“Every day at Arts Huntsville we celebrate the creative side of our community. Once again this year we are honored to work with area artists, musicians, sponsors, volunteers and our community partners to stage the Southeast’s premiere arts weekend,” said Allison Dillon-Jauken, Arts Huntsville executive director. “We invite you to celebrate Panoply with us in 2016 and we promise you’ll discover something new at this year’s festival.”
Panoply Arts Festival will be held April 29 – May 1, 2016. Panoply’s hours are: Friday, April 29 from 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.; Saturday, April 30 from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Sunday, May 1 from 12:00 – 7:00 p.m.
For more information, volunteer sign ups and to purchase tickets, visit artshuntsville.org. Follow Arts Huntsville on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat for the latest updates leading up to Panoply Arts Festival.
-Information provided by Arts Huntsville