By: Holly Hollman
An Athens art organization is giving the German festival known as Oktoberfest an artistic twist for its inaugural event called ARToberest.
The celebration of beverages, brats and brushes will be Oct. 20 from 6-9 p.m. at High Cotton Arts in Downtown Athens. Proceeds will benefit Athens Arts League’s mission to support artists, provide art education, and bring cultural events to Athens and Limestone County.
The beverages will include German beer and wine. The food will include a German-based menu, and the art auction will include art pieces that artists from High Cotton Arts and the Athens Arts League Board have created using paintbrushes.
The cost for ARToberfest is $50 per person and includes music by The Little German Band of Huntsville and an exhibit of beer steins provided from the collection of Maria Taylor of Athens. Athens Arts League Board Vice President Diane Lehr said the beer stein collection demonstrates their artistic beauty with scenes such as Bavaria, Excalibur, Russian fairy tales and knights of the realm.
“ARToberfest incorporates the visual and musical arts in an Oktoberfest setting,” Lehr said.
Artists at High Cotton Arts will attend to highlight their studios and art creations ranging from paintings to stained glass to pottery. Artist Karen Middleton has created a portrait station by painting a German couple with open space for event goers to insert their faces and make a photo.
“For a non-profit art organization, we provide numerous art opportunities in our community from affordable downtown studio space for artists to supplementing art programs in our local school systems to transforming a vacant historic building into the Scout Music House,” said Athens Arts League Board President Amy Golden. “We are able to provide these opportunities because of the community’s support of the arts.”
Some of the art programs Athens Arts League provides include:
High Cotton Arts, a downtown art incubator with affordable studio space, art classes for all ages, a space for cultural events, and space for songwriting and guitar classes.
Scout Music House, a renovation project at the circa 1938 Scout House to transform the vacant structure into a music venue.
Boys and Girls Club Summer Art Camps, funded by grants and donations.
Limestone County Department of Human Resources, foster children art classes, funded by grants and donations.
East Limestone High School art survey class, providing guest artists and projects, funded by a grant.
Art supplies for schools provided through donations from artists and the community.
Participation in Fridays After Five, Chocolate Walk, Sippin’ Cider, Christmas Open House, and other downtown events by providing free music, snacks, and art stations for children.
The Alabama Spring and the Comic Book Art competitions and exhibits.