HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – The Panoply Arts Festival is back for its 40th year and they are bringing out all the stops. You can expect more music and art than ever before to be packed into the three-day festival.

The festival is growing this year, expanding into Big Spring Park East and into Church Street. There will be 100 artists and more than 30 musical performances on two stages.

Arts Huntsville revealed the poster artwork done by local artist Sonya Clemons. The poster showcases Big Spring Park Bridge and the ducks, with lots of fun whimsical colors and symbols.

Clemons, or the Art Lady as she likes to be called, told News 19 she wanted the poster to be happy and reflect how good it is to be back after COVID-19 impacted the last few festivals.

“To celebrate the 40th Panoply Arts Festival, we selected an area artist who grew up with the event and whose artwork could celebrate Panoply’s community history and its place in Huntsville today,” said Arts Huntsville Executive Director Allison Dillon-Jauken in a news release. “Artlady Sonya’s celebration of Panoply showcases the festival’s iconic setting in Big Spring Park and celebrates the art, music, food and fun that festivalgoers of all ages have experienced at Panoply for four decades.”

Clemons will sell her original paintings at Panoply Arts Festival, and festivalgoers will be able to purchase merchandise featuring her artwork at the Panoply Stores. Arts Huntsville will also be offering a limited number of signed posters for the public to purchase.

Panoply kicks off at 5 p.m. on April 29.

What’s new?

This year there will be a new Art OutLoud Stage, that will hold spoken word performances from local literary figures, poets, authors and comedians. A special stage dedication will take place on Saturday starting at 3:30 p.m. in honor and memory of beloved, local poet and author Carey Link.

Panoply’s Indie Stage will be in a new location in Big Spring Park East and will have local solo and duo music performances all weekend.

Musical Performances

The Showcase Stage behind the Huntsville Museum of Art will feature multiple bands and shows during the three-day festival. Friday night is host to a rock-packed evening including Tres Locos, Jayne & the Huntsmen and headliner Hero the Band.

On Saturday, the festival will have performances by Rule of Thirds, Knightshade, Shane Davis, Grove Yard and Will River throughout the day. That evening festival attendees can enjoy Element XI and then catch Saturday’s headliners The Suffers.

Sunday celebrates a day of Alabama Music featuring local band TGTG, followed by Moon Tree out of Muscle Shoals. Local favorite and past-Panoply contest winner Alex Banks & Co. hits the stage in the early afternoon, followed by Huntsville singer-songwriter Lana White. Closing out the festival is Huntsville native Paul McDonald.

Closer to the festival date, a playlist of this year’s Panoply Arts Festival musicians will go live at www.artshuntsville.org.

Art Marketplace

The Art Marketplace will feature shopping in a beautiful setting. This year the juried Art Marketplace will welcome more than 100 visual artists. The 2022 Art Marketplace will have both longtime festival artists as well as over 50 first-time Panoply exhibitors. This year’s artists come from 25 states, with some traveling from as far as California and New Mexico.

Student Art Tent and Face Painting Tent

The Student Art Tent will be in Big Spring Park East to showcase budding talent across the community, featuring artwork from students of all ages that attend public and private schools across Madison County. At another popular destination, festivalgoers can celebrate their creative side at the Panoply Face Painting Tent.

Arts in Action and Community Art

Regional artists will offer demonstrations of their craft at Panoply’s Arts in Action tents, where festivalgoers can get a first-hand look at the process of en Plein air painting, art journaling, vinyl art and cigar box guitars. Festivalgoers of all ages will also get to stretch their creative muscles with hands-on community art activities as First Baptist Church will be returning to Panoply again this year. Together with festivalgoers, they’ll create a new mosaic to be placed on display in the community and enjoyed long after the festival weekend ends.

Hands-on Activities

Panoply’s STEAM Street will have special activities including:

  • Rockin Rockets! – Using paper straws and pipettes, festivalgoers will create a propulsion system. Once the design process is complete, they will test their rockets to see how far they will go and then adjust to increase distance.
  • Twirling Tops – Festivalgoers will learn about the physics of pirouettes, learn how to pirouette and create and decorate their own spinning tops.
  • Fresh Beats – In this DIY electronics project, by building banana pianos, festivalgoers will discover how to make a simple circuit and how electricity is conducted.
  • Nutrition with Nick Nutrition and His Wonder Dog Fiber – Using visual art, health science and math, festivalgoers will learn about nutrition.

This year’s Creativity Corner will offer Art Adventures for all to enjoy:

  • Mini Macchia Madness – Festivalgoers will create Chihuly’s famous Macchia series using vibrant dashes of color on coffee filters to recreate the color and shape.
  • Wonders of Watercolor – Festivalgoers will learn simple watercolor techniques to create one of several designs or create their own watercolor masterpiece.
  • The Dot Stop – “Everything starts with a dot” ~ Wassily Kandinsky. Using paint, foil and other artist tools, festivalgoers with create their own dot monoprint.
  • Black Out Poetry – Festivalgoers can find their inner poet with just a page from a book and a sharpie.
  • Instrument Petting Zoo – The Symphony Guild’s popular musical experience always introduces young people to musical instruments at Panoply.

Military Salute Night

The Military Salute Night tradition continues on Friday, April 29. All active-duty military and Armed Forces reserves, along with their families, are welcomed to the park for a free evening of entertainment. Military personnel will be asked to show their current military ID at the entrances.

Panoply Beer, Wine and Festival Food

Panoply festivalgoers can enjoy food from 13 food trucks. This year the Craft Beer Tent is returning with beer from breweries across the region, and wine selections from Church Street Wine.

Festival Seating and Fireworks

Panoply is known for its music and performances in the park. Festival guests are encouraged to bring their own chairs and blankets as seating. Friday and Saturday nights will both end with a fireworks display.

Tickets and Hours

The Panoply weekend pass is available online in advance for $18 this year. Weekend passes are only available until 4 p.m. on Friday, April 29. Day passes are $10 and can be purchased in advance online or at the festival ticket booths. Tickets are on sale now at artshuntsville.org. Children 12 and under are free of charge.

Panoply Arts Festival will be held on April 29, 30, and May 1, 2022.

Panoply 2022 Hours:

  • Friday, April 29, from 5-9:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 30, from 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
    • Art Marketplace closes at 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 1, from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Get more information on the festival at www.artshuntsville.org.