2nd SouthSide Arts Festival Sprays Color Across Bethlehem April 23
BETHLEHEM, PA—Creative energy will flow from the canvas into the streets as ArtsQuest’s SouthSide Arts Festival returns to the Banana Factory Arts Center, 25 W. Third St., Bethlehem, on April 23. The free event, which debuted in 2015, will take place from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and include a new AfterParty from 4-7 p.m.
An interactive arts experience, the SouthSide Arts Festival is packed with dynamic activities for every artist in the family. With yarn bombers to transform ordinary backdrops into works of fabric art, chalk artists to inspire driveway masterpieces, and a host of demonstrations and workshops, the festival is five straight hours filled with artistic inspiration.
Highlighting the 2016 festival is an exhibition and painting demonstrations by graffiti and fine artist DISTORT. Hailing from Jersey City, N.J., this 29-year-old artist was classically trained at the Academy of Fine Arts and earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Pennsylvania. While he has strong ties to the classic arts, he credits the graffiti-lined streets of Philadelphia and its thriving artistic community for influencing his personal street art style. In fact, the first thing guests will notice about DISTORT’s work is that it’s on what appear to be scrolls; however, a closer look reveals the “scrolls” are made out of unraveled spray paint cans and fire extinguishers
Guests looking to get in touch with their inner Banksy after watching DISTORT’s painting demonstrations can check out graffiti-inspired workshops ranging from screen printing to ceramics. Among the options are learning how to create a graffiti artist tag, screen printing designs onto t-shirts, shaping graffiti letters with clay and more.
Looking for activities just for children? Bring the kids and grandkids to Peanutbutter’s face painting booth to transform the entire family into works of art. This Philadelphia-based artist has been painting people since 1978 and in less than 10 minutes his team of artists can decorate faces with his incredible airbrushed designs.
Other festival highlights include juggling, plein air painting by the Banana Factory’s resident artists, dance performances by Pennsylvania Youth Theatre and mosaic tile demonstrations. Plus, local skate shop Homebase610 is back with one of the hits from last year’s event: a Game of S.K.A.T.E Tournament featuring skateboard stunts galore, with the winner receiving a year’s supply of Van’s shoes.
New this year is an AfterParty from 4-7 p.m. featuring spinning fire performances by The Burning Hearts, live glassblowing demonstrations, artist networking opportunities and more. In addition, some of the festival’s artists such as tarot card reader Willie Alsedek and performers from the Burning Hearts will be taking their art into the community, performing on the sidewalks of neighboring streets and encouraging festival attendees to explore all the city’s SouthSide has to offer.
“The SouthSide Arts Festival is a great opportunity to celebrate the rich culture and history of the community and showcase the talent of the artists, merchants and organizations in the Lehigh Valley,” says ArtsQuest Sr. Director of Visual Arts Stacie Brennan. “Throughout the day we will provide a variety of opportunities to participate in and observe the artistic process, in order to ignite imagination and creativity. This year’s festival will encourage participants to take risks, try something they’ve never done before and learn something new.”
The list of festival participants so far includes:
Graffiti Art – DISTORT
Graffiti Art – Max Meano
Glass Blowing – Banana Factory Hot Glass Studio
Live Painting – Chris Kosztyo
Wheat Paste Collage – Marlow Rodale
Plein Air Painting – David Sommers
Pottery on the Patio: Clay Wheelthrowing – Deb Slahta
Community Mosaic – Kim Hogan
Stop Animation Demos
Juggling and Spinning Performances – the Burning Hearts
Chalk Art with Trisha MaeCast Paper Tiles with Virginia Abbot
Game of S.K.A.T.E. Tournament hosted by Homebase610 & Vans
Yarn Bombing – Knitter’s Edge
Face Painting – Peanutbutter (unique designs for $5)
Tarot Game – Willie Alsedek, Performance Artist
Graffiti Artist Tag Workshop – DISTORT
Clay Monogram Workshop – Devyn Leanor Briggs
Screen Printing Demo by Lehigh Valley Apparel Creations – attendees can bring and print their own t-shirts for $5, or purchase a t-shirt for $10).
Crayola Gallery Window Painting – David Blank
Banana Factory Resident Artists Open House – visit them in their studios
Dance Performances by Pennsylvania Youth Theatre
Hands-on Children’s Art Project with Pediatric Cancer Society of Lehigh Valley
Caricatures by Kate Sante
Faces of The SouthSide Exhibit – featuring works of Broughal Middle School students who worked with photographer Ryan Hulvat
Trixie’s Treats Food Truck
Lehigh University Füd Truk
L2 Creations – Lauren Stoy – Jewelry
Crinkle Studios – Amanda Rodgers – Art Lessons and Experiences
Matthew Twombly – Art & Photographic Prints
Janelle Rae Jewelry
Casa de Jorge – Salsa Guy!
Haggis Vitae – Julie Miller – Digital Collage, Lamps and Mixed Media Works
Lehigh Valley Apparel Creations
Kate Sante Caricatures & Illustrations
The SouthSide Arts Festival coincides with Bethlehem’s annual Spring on SouthSide celebration, formerly known as the “Spring on 4th! What’s on 3rd” celebration and chili cook-off. For more information on the festival visit www.bananafactory.org or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thebananafactory.