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Come out & play
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Visit a petting zoo that is filled, not with animals, but musical instruments.
Shop for fine art, watch theatrical entertainment, or listen to music. The Armstrong Atlantic State University Department of Art, Music & Theatre is presenting the Second Annual Outdoor Art Exhibition and Children’s Arts Festival on March 31.
The festival will be held in the courtyard of the AASU Fine Arts Hall. Current art faculty and students will be joined by alumni to exhibit and sell original artwork, including ceramics, paintings, photography, fiber art, jewelry and T-shirts.
Mario Incorvaia, arts marketing director for AASU, is one of a five-member committee that is coordinating the festival. “The idea behind it is two-fold,” he says.
“We wanted the art faculty, students and alumni to have the opportunity to have an outdoor exhibit and sell work just as the weather gets nice,” Incorvaia says. “The first outdoor arts festival was a big success, and it may grow into community-wide event.”
Opening the festival to non-AASU artists would make it even larger. “For the first two years, we set a goal that we knew we could meet internally,” Incorvaia says.
Visual art is just one aspect of the festival. Music, dance and theater all will be presented at the Children’s Art Festival. “We thought it was important to structure the event to be very child-friendly,” Incorvaia says.
“There will be a variety of dance, music and theatrical performances,” he says. “Participants might even have the opportunity to participate in an activity that will start in one place, then move to the stage.”
 One activity will allow children to create their own short stories, which might then be staged as a play. “We have props and costumes available to a certain degree,” Incorvaia says.
Children also will be able to complete art projects. “The art department will be on hand for the art activities,” Incorvaia says.
There also will be puppetry, face painting, improvisational games and a musical petting zoo that will give children hands-on access to musical instruments so they can see just how they work -- and sound.
Children who want to learn to juggle can get a start at the festival by trying scarf juggling. “Juggling is so challenging, involving hand and eye coordination,” Incorvaia says. “One way to introduce someone to juggling is through scarves. They don’t fall as quickly to the ground from the force of gravity.”
AASU art students will create a chalk display that when viewed from the proper angle, will appear to leap up and become three-dimensional. There also will be food and soft drinks available for purchase, for those who want to stay at the festival all day.
“Some activities will be free-form, while some will be more structured,” Incorvaia says. “We had a great time last year. One of our goals is to have this festival blossom into a community-wide event, which could happen as early as next year.” ƒç
The Armstrong Atlantic State University Department of Art, Music & Theatre will present the Second Annual Outdoor Art Exhibition and Children’s Arts Festival on Saturday, March 31 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the courtyard outside the AASU Fine Arts Hall. The festival is open to the general public. Admission is free. For information, call 927-5325.