The Cleveland resident’s innovative style is from one of the Museum Store’s most popular artists. Graham’s biggest museum sellers up to now have been his “Santa Gnomes,” “Wood Spirits,” “Folk Faces,” and hand-carved and hand-painted Christmas ornaments. His new genre is finely finished, hand-carved wooden Native American warriors.
“These gorgeous wooden carvings are finer, more finished carvings that bring out the handsome grains of specially selected pieces of butternut, maple, wild cherry and walnut,” festival coordinator Tracy O’Connell said.
Graham’s carvings have been in the news since he was a student at Bradley Central High School in the 1980s. His work is also found in the prestigious Mason Murer Gallery in Atlanta.
“We are excited Michael is bringing these beautiful Native American sculptures to the show,” O’Connell said.
Several artists are debuting at this summer’s art festival: Sandy Brown, Athens; Burney Tompkins, Ooltewah; Aloha and Bonnie Buffington, Calhoun; and Simone Hahn, who recently arrived from Germany — are all brand new to the museum’s gallery.
Forty-five artists and authors will show their jewelry, blown glass, water color, oil and print paintings, carved and turned wood, fabric art, elegant functional and ornamental pottery, stained glass, photography, handmade musical instruments and more.
The festival is free and open to the public on Saturday and Sunday. A preview party, “Timeless Appalachia,” will kick off the festivities Friday evening from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Museum members may attend free, and non-museum members may attend for $10. Today is the deadline for preview party reservations. Saturday’s festivities expand to First Street Square and include live music (hammered dulcimer and jazz); make-n-take art projects and a sidewalk chalk art competition and lawn games. Food vendors and local retailers will have sidewalk and patio sales.
Similar events will move to the museum courtyard Sunday and include brunch.
The weekend festival on Saturday runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the cool comfort of the museum center and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the First Street Square. On Sunday, the celebration of art continues in the museum from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and in the courtyard from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Parking is free and plentiful. Look for blue balloons around the downtown area to find convenient
The Museum Center’s normal hours of operation are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The museum is closed Sunday, Monday and holidays. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and students, and free for children under 5. Groups of 12 or more are $4 each. The museum is free the first Saturday of every month and members alway get in free. For more information, please call 423-339-5745 or visit www.MuseumCenter.org.