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ArtiGras, a celebration of the arts

Stephen Brown

Fine art is taking it to the streets President’s Day weekend when the twenty-ninth installment of ArtiGras returns to Abacoa Town Center in Jupiter. Stretching down University Drive and Central Boulevard, 300 artists from points all over will set up tents and booths, showcasing their passions in 14 mediums. With more than 1,000 applicants signing up to show at ArtiGras, a rigorous blind-jury process ensures the presenting artists are the best in their respective mediums, which is part of the reason the annual art festival is hit with collectors and the community. More than 85,000 visitors descend on the nearly two-mile-long promenade of arts each year, making it one of the most-attended art festivals in Palm Beach County.

ArtiGras 2014 - Commerative Poster - Kelly Tracht

ArtiGras' 2014 commemerative Poster

Painting by Kelly Tracht

This year's festival looks to continue the tradition of bringing art to the public with a diverse collection of artists, live art demonstrations, and a craft and class area. And though plenty of seasoned vets display their wares, ArtiGras also acts an incubator for those just starting on their artistic path.

 

The emerging artist program showcases the talents of up-and-coming artisans and craftsmen living within 60 miles of Jupiter who have never presented their work at a fine art festival before. Applicants also undergo the blind-jury process; this year, 11 artists and collaborating artists have been selected to represent the emerging artist program.

Ellen Negley painting - 2012 ArtiGras poster - Abacoa TOwn Center, Jupiter, Florida

While the driving force behind ArtiGras are the works created by the professional artists, the benefactors have always been the children of the community. The ever-tightening budget restraints in the public school system almost always target art programs first. Understanding the importance of arts education, the Northern Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce created the ArtiGras Foundation in 1995 to benefit schools. It has raised more than $500,000 since its inception, which has been used to fund art programs in local schools, bolster waning budgets and provide scholarships for aspiring artists.

 

Fostering artistic growth is not limited to the school system but is an experience children can have at ArtiGras. The ArtiKids Area, supported by local art organizations, gives children an opportunity to create their own masterpiece out of recycled material. In addition, young collectors can also purchase their first piece of art at the festival's Tiny Treasures booth, where ArtiGras artists have donated pieces of art to be sold at kid-friendly prices.

  • The gates of the ArtiGras Fine Art Festival are open from February 15-17 at Abacoa Town Center in Jupiter.
  • Tickets cost $8 in advance, $10 at the gate.
  • Parking can be an issue, so free satellite parking lots with shuttle service will be available at Dwyer High School and Jupiter Middle (click for map).
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