Art in the Park, an annual festival sponsored by the Walker County Arts Alliance that is now in its 11th year, will be held Saturday at Gamble Park beginning at 9 a.m. More than 75 artists from across the Southeast are expected to participate.
The day will conclude with Jazz in the Park, a collaboration between WCAA and Magic City Smooth Jazz. The free concert will be held on the Bevill State Community College Quad main event stage.
Walker High School’s Jazz Ensemble will open the show at 4 p.m. Birmingham natives Lauren “Sassy” Brown and James Crumb will perform from 5 to 8 p.m.
“We are excited about the new entertainment offered at Art in the Park this year,” said Emily Donaldson, WCAA president. “It is the mission of the WCAA to bring arts to Walker County, and Art in the Park is the perfect opportunity to feature so many local artists with a wide range of talents.”
Brown’s music is influenced by artists such as Bonnie Raitt, Koko Taylor and Etta James.
“The blues aren’t all about sadness. Blues is about happiness and sadness — love, lust, passion, anger, heartache. That’s life, baby; and that makes me happy,” Brown said in a press release for this weekend’s event.
Crumb is a saxophonist whose most memorable performances include opening for Donnie McKlirland, Vicky Wynans, Cee Cee Wynans and Freddie Jackson.
While attending the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he received a bachelor’s degree in music education, Crumb appeared on the University’s first compact disc recording while being featured with jazz guitarist Eric Essix.
In case of rain, the concert will be moved to Rowland Auditorium on the BSCC campus and Art in the Park will be held at Glen Clem Gym.
Other entertainers who will be performing throughout the day include vocalists Seth Burgess and Logan Pace, special guest musicians Rick Watson & Company along with Keith Beard and dancers from Athletic Arts, Jasper Elite and Marilyn Sanders studios.
Children will also find plenty to keep them occupied while their parents visit the various booths.
“The children’s activity area is always a huge hit, offering children the opportunity to create original art that they can take home,” said event chairman Pam Callahan.
Both Art in the Park and Jazz in the Park are funded by grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Walker Area Community Foundation.