This story has been corrected to state that last year the club raised almost $180,000 from Art in the Square.Southlake will transform into an art mecca during the 14th annual Art in the Square.For the April 26 weekend, about 150 artists from around the globe will showcase and sell their works in the citys town square among a festival of live music and food. The organizer, Southlake Womens Club, invites artists with work in various mediums including painting, sculpture and even jewelry.Publicity Chairwoman Amy Schroeder said the quality of the art makes the festival one of the best in the nation. Last year, The Art Fair Sourcebook 2012 ranked the festival at No. 8 in the nation.A lot of our art is fine art, she said. Its not a craft sale.Terri Messing, the Art in the Squares Artist ChSairwoman, said the price range can work with anyones budget.You can get earrings for $50, but you can also get earrings for thousands, she said. You can spend hundreds of thousands on art, but thats not what our market is.She stressed that the works are original and the prices set by the artists are reasonable. Some artists sell reproductions that are sometimes more affordable for buyers.Admission and parking is free for the event that expects anywhere from 35,000 to 50,000 visitors over its three days.The event also features two stages where 23 musical acts will perform throughout the weekend.Country singer Keith Anderson headlines this years festival. The Grammy-nominated Anderson, best known for his songs I Still Miss You, and Pickin Wildflowers, performs at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.All proceeds from the event have been donated to charity since the event began in 2000. Because of the focus on philanthropy, the event is fully staffed by 600 volunteers.Last year, the group donated almost $180,000.This years 29 beneficiaries include the Battered Womens Foundation, Special Olympics Texas Southlake and the Tarrant County Food Bank. Schroeder said the club looks for charities that focus on North Texas families, women and children.Schroeder said the group works closely with the city and police department to provide adequate security.Appropriate measures have been taken for event security, she said.Messing said a jury of experts considered excellence, fundamentals and variety during the selection process, and 150 artists were invited from a pool of 700 applicants. The first festival featured only 40 artistsIve been doing this since 2000, and its gotten more and more professional and more and more competitive, she said.The event also has portions that highlight local artists and young artists.Artist Greg Barnes said the festival setting allows buyers to get more from their purchases.When someone buys a piece of art theyre getting the story behind it, he said. It gives them more to talk about than, I just bought this at a gallery. Messing estimated about 60-percent of this years participants have showcased at the festival before. She said this benefits the artists and the buyers.Barnes, who has a studio in Charlotte, has shown at the event several times, but was honored to be recognized this year.A lot comes through my paintings that I cant explain, he said. A lot of times my work reflects my faith. Theyre landscapes, but theres something more to it, Barnes said.Messing said his work stood out from the other applicants.For me, its the landscapes and the color is just vibrant and amazing, she said. You get a really positive feeling from looking at his works.
Dustin L. Dangli, 817-390-7770 Twitter: @dussssstin