Now Accepting Artist Applications for Summer Art Strolls

Attention Artists

The Athens Arts League, a committee of Spirit of Athens, is now accepting artist applications for the Summer Art Strolls on June 27 and July 25. Register for one or both dates and spend the afternoon showing your work on the Courthouse lawn.

Be sure to read the Policies & Procedures below, then register online.

Artists will set up in assigned spaces that will be marked on the courthouse grounds.  Artists are to provide their own canopy, table, chairs, display materials.  While power does exist not all booths will have access, please make that request on your application.  Strongly suggest that all display materials be battery operated (e.g. lighting, fans, etc…)
Booth fees and applications are required to be paid at least one week prior to the event.  Send check or money order to: Spirit of Athens, 107 N. Jefferson, Athens AL  35612.

REMEMBER: Regardless of your payment, artist approval, advance notice of your attendance, and a booth assignment by the Athens Arts League Committee is required.  Limited space available, please apply early.  Any artist arriving at an Athens Downtown Arts Stroll event without having been approved by the review committee will be asked to leave.

Booth spaces will be assigned to approved artists on the courthouse grounds.  Booth spaces are 10’x10’ and stakes will not be permitted.
The Arts League Review Committee will determine selection of participants based on the following criteria:
  • All work displayed for sale, must be of the artist’s original design and handcrafted/executed by the artist.
    On-site demonstration is strongly encouraged.  Education is a key to appreciation.
    Cash and Carry.  
  • Sell current items, not an order taking opportunity.
    Uniqueness of an item- limits may be imposed on how many items of a similar genre will be allowed.
    All displayed art should be appropriate for all ages.  
  • Visual artists may be asked to provide images representative of the works they will be showing and selling. 
  • Artists are responsible for their own set-up.  
  • Spaces will be assigned.  Additional information is provided in the Procedures & Policies document.  Specific booth locations can be requested but cannot be guaranteed. Athens Arts League is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged items.
The following are not allowed:
  • Simply embellished items, where the central item is not significantly altered from its original state.
  • Machine made items or items made using professional/industrial equipment (sewing machines, wood shop tools and other personal machines are acceptable).
  • Mass produced items. Objects from commercial kits, molds, or patterns.
  • Direct buy/resell items.
  • Imported or manufactured goods.
  • Simple embroidering, vinyl lettering or painting of initials onto items.
  • Any items that do not meet the Review Committee’s standards and qualifications are subject to removal.
  • The Arts League Committee will deal honestly and courteously with artists.
  • Respect the artist booths near you.
  • All booth spaces are NON-SMOKING areas.

For more information: Email: athensartsleague@gmail.com


Garnet's on the Square Opens in Downtown Athens

Garnet King, on right, is pictured with her daughter-in-law, Kim Clinard.

Milk paint also available.
Garnet King, owner of Garnet's on the Square, describes her store as carrying a variety of items including re-purposed furniture, antiques, new merchandise, and upscale home decor consignment.  King rents booth space to vendors that have created a unique "look" in each space.

The store opened last Saturday, March 1 and King says that some vendors have already had to replenish their merchandise. 

King said while working at a downtown retail business, she thought about how the building would be a great location.  Before opening, King updated the space by exposing the original tin tiled ceiling and painting the exterior. 

Garnet's on the Square is located at 116 North Jefferson Street and is open from 10 AM - 5 PM Monday through Friday and 9 AM - 5 PM on Saturday.  Click here to check out their Facebook page. 


Art on the Square Merges with Spirit of Athens

Art On The Square Art League is merging with Spirit of Athens, the downtown revitalization organization in Athens. Art on the Square will become an arts committee under the umbrella of the SOA organization.

The Art On The Square and Spirit of Athens boards saw this merger as an opportunity to focus on the arts in community year-round, rather than primarily during an annual festival. This union will provide more opportunities to host art events at various times throughout the year and to work toward establishment of an arts incubator in Athens. Art On the Square has been in existence for over seven years providing a fine arts festival for the community around The Square.

Diane Lehr, president of Art On the Square Arts League states, “This is a great opportunity for both organizations to work for the good of the City. Our mission remains the same even though our focus will change. We seek to strengthen our community by promoting art education, supporting the work of artists, and bringing cultural events to the area. The vast majority of our current AOTS board will serve on the SOA arts committee. We look forward to this new chapter.” 


Craftsman Cottage Opens Downtown

Pam Hertenstein and Sandra Marks
Two local business owners join together and relocate in Downtown Athens.   Kindred Spirits and Simply Yesterday Antiques are now under one roof named the Craftsman Cottage at 100 North Clinton Street.
Pam Hertenstein, owner of Kindred Spirits, and Sandra Marks, Simply Yesterday Antiques & More owner talked about the prospect of finding a place together in October. Spirit of Athens Executive Director Trisha Black recommended the building that would be a perfect fit for their business model and their doors opened on December 1.

“We felt our businesses complimented each other and would also fit in nicely with other stores and activities downtown,” said Hertenstein. “We are thrilled to be downtown. The exposure is incredible and we look forward to being a part of the community.”

Prairie Child Designs

Mudd Puddles Pottery
Kindred Spirits showcases locally made items from 40 different artisans across the Tennessee Valley.  Shoppers can find Sheer Pleasures products, artwork by DeAnna McNiell, Prairie Child Designs, work by internationally acclaimed Mark Moore, “Who, What, Where” art, Mudd Puddles Pottery, and much more.
“The handcrafted items carried in the cottage are made with quality materials just as the antiques were made many years ago,” adds Marks.
Marks has been buying and selling antiques for approximately ten years and she opened Simply Yesterday Antiques & More approximately one year ago. Simply Yesterday Antiques and More has eight dealers with their own speciality. Antiques include furniture, depression era glassware, and advertising memorabilia.
Marks and Hertenstein both emphasize the importance to shopping locally and supporting small businesses.
The Craftsman Cottage joins Shoe Gallery 2, 109 South Marion Street, that opened downtown in September and Little Texas Pizza Buffet, 202 South Jefferson Street, that opened December 20.  Casa Blanca Mexican Cantina and Inez’s Soul Food Restaurant will be opening downtown soon.
The Craftsman Cottage is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 256-998-2486.

DeAnna McNeill's mixed media



Dawn Furline and Pete Woodward with the 2012 Cider Cup
Dawn Furline and Pete Woodward, U.G. White General Mercantile manager, accepts the 2012 Cider Cup for the winning recipe at the Sippin’ Cider Festival.  Second place winner with less than a point difference was CEI Books, followed by Crawford’s Gifts in third place.
The second annual Sippin’ Cider Festival which was held in Downtown Athens on December 8, 2012 and was sponsored by Spirit of Athens and Limestone Chapel Funeral Home.

“The Sippin’ Cider event is a way for us to thank downtown businesses by supporting Spirit of Athens with their annual contribution,” said Letisha Brinkley, SOA Promotion chair and event organizer.  “Successful retail and dining is one of the biggest draws to downtown and we want to celebrate the hard work they put into their business.”

Attendees were able to shop from 5-8 PM in participating businesses, take advantage of store specials, and rate the cider in each business. Those customers that voted on at least five recipes were entered into win a door prize donated by each business. 

Door prize winners are; Jack Warner of Athens won Luvici’s shirt and bottle of Big Jim's bbq sauce, Tyler Coggin of Gurley, a frame from Trinity’s, Alice Whitt of Rogersville, Scarves from Bennett's Clothing, Julie Shelton of Athens, won a necklace set from Claborn Specialties, Dwight Billions of Athens, Frame from Pimentos, Pam Hester of Athens, a Village Pizza certificate for a free large one topping pizza, Peggy Wright, Melissa & Doug toys from Belles and Beaus, Clint Coggin of Madison, Pablos on Market $15 gift certificate, Jonathan Colwell of Athens, Case knife from U.G. White General Mercantile, Brenda Jackson of Athens, CEI Books’ Tote filled with holiday items, and Davidson Crooks of Athens, Gray & Holt $25 gift certificate.

Entertainment during Sippin’ Cider included a live performance by Trey Morgan, train rides by the Athens Lions Club, visit from Santa, appearance by Scrooge and Dickens characters, marshmallow roasting fire pit and children’s crafts. 

The third annual Sippin’ Cider Festival will be held on December 14, 2013.
Kathyrn Flynn, Mac McAlister and Miranda Hudleston, members of the Mayor's Youth Commission, dress up as Dicken's characters.
SOA Volunteers help roast marshmallows


Athens Grease Festival: Just another day for these greasers!

Athens Grease Festival: Just another day for these greasers!: Pete Woodward, Merchant Liason, Diane Lehr, Sponsorship Chair, Tiffany Seibert, Kid Activities Chair, Christy Hubbard, Festival Chair, T...


Thanks to the Athens Rotary Club for sponsoring the downtown banners. In addition to the Square banners, Athens Rotary Club sponsored 16 new Christmas banners that will use another image created during the city branding campaign. 

Three new bike racks should be in place soon. Keep Athens Limestone Beautiful sponsored two racks and West End Outdoors sponsored one.  The racks will be placed near Village Pizza, Limestone Drug, and the Center for Lifelong Learning.  

Spirit of Athens appreciates these sponsors. These improvements improve our downtown.


Volunteer Spotlight
Pam Hartmann, SOA Organization Committee and Downtown Fan!
Pam Hartmann
"Even though I live on the river and teach Retrobics Dance and Fitness classes at The Rec Center,I love to come downtown to do my shopping, lunching,and volunteering.I am originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and I understand the importance of preserving culture and history. The Square is the center of the culture and history in this community."

Married to her husband,John,who works for TVA, Pam loves to bring their adult children to downtown Athens, after a day on the river. According to Pam, one cannot find the same sort of unique downtown experience anywhere else. Pam enjoys the sense of place and belonging to the community that she feels in downtown Athens on ' The Square.'

She says that her love for community is only made larger by the passion she has witnessed in other volunteers with Spirit of Athens. " I have met some wonderful people working with Spirit of Athens. Having this challenge has given me fuller days when I get homesick for my kids and my homestate of Louisiana. Right now,the Organization Committee, is focused and working hard on the upcoming Athens Grease Festival; and although this is the first year,we are excited to see everyone having fun planning the Greek activities and the Southern fried foods."

Pam credits Trisha Black- S.O.A  Director with keeping her challenged and engaged in the Spirit of Athens projects. She enjoys the Organization Committee, which is tasked with attracting volunteers and resources to SOA. "Working with Spirit of Athens, I have been asked to write articles, choreograph dances, ask people to be major sponsors of events, encourage volunteers, and help set up a huge annual meeting and luncheon. I know that I am contributing toward making my immediate community a better place to live," Pam says. 

"Revitalizing a downtown district is important work. I encourage everyone to get involved with Spirit of Athens, in order to see the downtown lit up, literally and metaphorically."


Downtown Buildings Awarded SOA Facade Funding

The buildings at 107 and 109 East Market Street recently received a facelift. SOA awarded the property owner through the facade grant and loan program for the submitted designs and completed facade renovation.  SOA encourages restoring buildings to the appropriate period and enhancing the historic characteristics. 
Gayle Black, Design Committee Chair, Lynne Hart, KALB Director and Design member, and Trisha Black, SOA Director admire renovated facades.

Please email for leasing information on these properties.



Check out this article  that we received from a nine year old Athenian.  He's doing his homework for the Athens Grease Festival...love it!!  Remember to get creative with your fried items.  Vendors can enter into one or more categories; "best fried vegetable," "best fried meat," "best fried dessert," and the "most outrageous."

Food vendor applications are now available online!!


This could be Athens Grease Festival's theme song!!


Athens Grease Festival: Local volunteer to chair festival that will celebr...

Athens Grease Festival: Local volunteer to chair festival that will celebr...: Local volunteer to chair festival that will celebrate all things fried ATHENS, Ala. – Christy Hubbard has volunteered at fundraisers that ...


Fried pie recipe...check out Momma Shirley's  recipe on the Athens Grease Festival blog.



 Email us if you'd like to be notified of volunteer opportunities for the Athens Grease Festival.  We are looking for committee chairs, committee members, and workers the day of the event.

Be sure to also check out the festival website for updates.