New York and Los Angeles may be known for their art scenes but the South has something to say when it comes to the arts. The region is responsible for self-taught and primitive artists as well as those that followed the traditional arts education path at places like the Savannah College of Art and Design or Ringling College of Art and Design.
The Best Arts Festivals in the South
Art Basel, Miami, Florida
Miami, Florida plays host to Art Basel, an annual arts festival that is an offshoot of the original from Switzerland. It started in 1970 and in Miami in the 2000s. The event now features over 200 galleries and artists from around the world. It also includes parties and events surrounding the art exhibits. Ticket prices vary based on what event you want to attend.
Westobou, Augusta, Georgia
Augusta, Georgia has an incredible five-day and arts festival that brings in big-name national acts like Ben Folds, pictured. Westobou features music, dance, film, spoken word, and visual arts at venues across the city. It was created in 1963 in honor of writer and painter Porter Fleming. It’s named for the Native people that called the Savannah River area home.
Spoleto Festival USA, Charleston, South Carolina
The Spoleto Festival USA first started in Spoleto, Italy but launched into the Ameican festival in Charleston, South Carolina in 1977. The week-long celebration includes plays, music, and art exhibits at venues throughout the city. There are also Piccolo Spoleto events, which are smaller offshoots of the Fringe Festival variety.
Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival, Reston, Virginia
Held every May, the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival is one of the top outdoor art festivals in the country. A short drive from Washington DC, the event brings in over 30,000 attendees to admire and purchase the handcrafted artwork. The festival also includes juried competitions, an opening party, and a family area.
Artisphere, Greenville, South Carolina
Downtown Greenville explodes in color during Artisphere, a spring art festival. Its components include the visual arts, performing arts, and culinary arts. It was founded in 2003 and has since seen an attendance of as high as 90,000 people. There are juried components for aspiring and professional artists.
St. James Court Art Show, Louisville, Kentucky
Kentucky also has its share of art festivals. The St. James Court Art Show is held in early October in Historic Old Louisville, the city’s Victorian neighborhood. The free event includes over 700 artists with juried fine arts and contemporary crafts. They also offer food and drink vendors.
Las Olas Art Fair, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
The annual art festival on Fort Lauderdale‘s most famous street takes place in the shops and galleries every January. Over 300 national and international juried artists come to town for the Las Olas Art Fair, including paintings, sculpture, and jewelry. The celebration continues with a secondary weekend in March.