The 36th Annual Downtown Festival & Art Show is proud to present this year’s poster and T-shirt image by Gainesville artist Alyne Harris. Harris was born in Gainesville, Florida in 1942, where she has been a resident her entire life. She is recognized as a significant self-taught, southern artist. Her art has been included in numerous outsider art exhibitions and in publications such as “Souls Grown Deep” (William Arnett) and “Extraordinary Interpretations” (Gary Monroe). Since childhood, Harris has spent all her spare time drawing and painting, sometimes from her experiences and sometimes from her imagination. A prolific painter working primarily in acrylics on board, her subjects range from spiritual to narrative to nature. She says, “Beauty is different for everyone.”
Of herself and her art, Harris says, “I'm a quiet person. Painting keeps me in touch with myself and my memories. I do my painting mostly late at night, after I get my other stuff over with. Art puts me into relaxation, and I do my best work like that. But I can tell you it ain't easy. Being an artist means having two full-time jobs.”*
T-shirts and posters with Harris’s image will be available at the 2017 Downtown Festival & Art Show, which is Saturday, Nov. 11 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 12 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The festival fills historic downtown Gainesville, from City Hall to the Hippodrome Theatre, with art, fine cuisine and live music on four stages. A collection of 240 of the nation’s top artists will display their original oils and acrylics, vibrant watercolors, breathtaking sculptures, elegant jewelry, decorative ceramics and stunning photography. Children can also create their own masterpieces at the “Imagination Station,” which offers a vast selection of free, hands-on art activities. Visit www.gainesvilledowntownartfest.org for more information or call the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department at 352-334-ARTS, and like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/DowntownFestivalandArtShow.
For additional information about this year’s poster, please contact Sunshine Andrei, event coordinator, at AndreiSV@cityofgainesville.org or 352-393-8536.
*The above quote is taken from the interviews with Alyne Harris conducted by William S. Arnett in 1987 and 1997 and is part of the archive of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation.