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East Point resident helms arts festival this weekend
by Noreen Cochran
July 23, 2014 01:25 PM | 4285 views | 0 0 comments | 207 207 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Special Photo
Special Photo
The 19th annual Heritage Arts and Soul Festival at Underground Atlanta, 50 Alabama St. in downtown Atlanta, is Friday through Sunday.

The free weekend family event, with music, art, food, events, wearable and fine arts artists will be open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. July 25 and 26 and noon to 6 p.m. July 27.

East Point resident Sylvia Cohen is an artist returning to participate again this year in the festival.

“She has also taken on the role of festival coordinator this year and has done an amazing job putting it together and adding new elements,” said Underground Atlanta spokeswoman Michelle Lawrence.

Lawrence said the artist, whose handbags creations carry the “Gbaby” name, knows how to launch and build a brand.

“She started with her own unique creations and turned it into a national recognized art power house,” Lawrence said in a statement. “And this successful artist will use her talents to make Heritage Arts Festival a ‘once in a lifetime’ audience experience.”

In addition to all Cohen has on her plate preparing her own work for show and putting the festival together, she is also mentoring two 17-year-old female artists Lordea Childress and Melissa Mimms, who are rising seniors at Tri-Cities High School, and helping them prepare to show their work at their first art festival.

“The students spend several hours twice a week at Sylvia’s studio,” Lawrence said. “She has taken them to Sam Flax to shop for supplies and to other festivals to help guide them on the whole process of showing their work – how to set up the booth, how to price work, etc.— as well as teaching them art techniques.”

As festival coordinator Cohen crafts the show vision, designs and implements the entire festival layout, and serves as the main liaison with participating artists, volunteers and interns.

In addition, Sylvia creates and maintains the festival budget and develops strategic partners for the festival with the local arts community, government, civic leaders and sponsors.

Festival highlights include an artist market where fine art, wearable art and home décor will be featured and available for purchase.

“An image is worth a thousand words,” La Shun Beal, a returning fine arts artist, said in a statement. “As an artist, we are storytellers of our heritage, our culture and our times.”

Visitors can also enjoy an emerging artist pavilion and fashion show, as well as an assortment of entertainment including onsite demonstrations, a lecture series, live music and a food festival.


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