Augusta-area residents turned out in the hundreds Saturday to browse the works of artists and sip fine wines at neighboring events in Evans.
Art lovers descended on the Columbia County Library and Memorial Gardens for the second annual Art in the Park event, while wine connoisseurs gathered at the Evans Town Center Park for the CSRA Wine Festival. Proceeds from both events benefited area arts cooperatives.
Susannah Perry, the president of the Artists Guild of Columbia County, said Arts in the Park drew many high-quality pieces in categories ranging from oil and acrylic painting to fiber arts and pottery. Perry said many of the pieces came from talented artists that the guild was unfamiliar with before this year.
"We had some great entries (this year)," she said. "There were a lot of artists we'd never heard of, and we're hoping to meet a lot of new people" next year.
Professional artists submitted more than 60 entries in a juried art show Friday, with awards given to the top works in nine categories and a best in show. A people's choice award was announced Saturday. The event drew more than 50 entries by Columbia County pupils.
"I was blown away by some of the talent in the high schools around here," Perry said.
Juliet King, a Harlem High School biology teacher and owner of Grunge Goddess Pottery of Grovetown, held lessons on how to "throw" or form clay pots on a wheel. She said the festival served as a platform for area artists to show their crafts.
"It's nice for the kids to have the opportunity to throw," she said.
Across Ronald Reagan Drive, about 500 guests sampled wines from around the globe at the second annual CSRA Wine Festival.
The festival moved this year from the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame Botanical Gardens to the Evans Town Center Park field near the Evans courthouse. Festival organizer Pat Goodwin said moving the event to Evans brought it closer to most of the festival's patrons.
Andrew and Grace Llanos, who recently moved to Evans, said they learned about the area's restaurants and wine.
"There's a lot of wines here I've seen in stores and wanted to try," Grace Llanos said, adding that the festival saved her the cost of buying individual bottles.
Proceeds from the festival will benefit Columbia County Arts Inc. and the Greater Augusta Arts Council.
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