St. George expects annual art festival to draw nearly 30,000 attendees

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ST GEORGE, Utah – Artists from all over the world are in St. George this weekend, artists showing off their talents for the 36th annual St. George Art Festival.

It’s one of the largest events put on by the city, with an expected attendance of close to 30,000 people. Towne Square has become an art gallery where professional painters, potters and sculptors aim to sell their works, and inspire.

Salt Lake painter Darrell Driver is one of them. This weekend, St. George is his studio as he paints amid the crowds, working on another whimsical piece.

“I’m working on a Canadian goose that has a checkered neck, a polka dotted back, he’ll have a red tailed fox on it, wearing a scarf probably,” says Driver as he continues to paint.

His passion for art started young, filling sketchpads in high school. He draws inspiration from the whimsical imagery of his imagination. Visions of red polka dotted bears, and octopus tea parties fill his canvases. As with any artist, he hopes the images evoke emotion.

“A lot of them are thought provoking,” Driver said. “But you need people to have that first layer peeled away so they can expose that, those thoughts in their head. I think this is kind of that first step, because it makes people laugh.”

Driver’s art stops attendees young and old for a look, that’s the goal St. George Leisure Services director Kent Perkins aims for--creating an environment where anyone can develop an appreciation for art.

“We want a family experience,” Perkins said. “And we want to touch the families at every level. “

Attendee Kirsten Wright said she thinks the festival does just that. She came to expose her children to art.

“I think it’s really cool,” Wright said. “There’s so many different ways to be an artist, and be creative.”

The St. George Art Festival runs through Saturday.