ArtsQuest’s silver anniversary blends art, music and wine on May 10-12

Published: Friday, May 3, 2013 at 12:12 PM.

With the silver anniversary a week away, ArtsQuest Fine Arts & Music Festival is set to celebrate this commemorative year with special events, more music and wine. Produced by the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County (CAA), the 25th annual ArtsQuest continues to evolve, embracing new elements, art forms and fans.

"ArtsQuest has evolved over the years and we always look for ways to keep the festival fresh while preserving the integrity of this respected annual event," said Jennifer Steele, executive director of the CAA.  "This year, we're excited to continue to enhance ArtsQuest's musical component with the Friday night concert at 'Back to Grayton' and 'Songs on the Lawn' concert on Saturday as well as special musical performances throughout the weekend."

Entertainment will be featured continuously throughout the festival on one of five stages. When the festival opens on Friday, the New Orleans Ramblers, The Steenos and The Blue Ribbon Healers will kick off the weekend. On Friday night, “Back to Grayton” will feature a live performance by Humming House at Hibsicus Coffee & Guesthouse in Grayton Beach. Kelsey Anna and Matt Miller begin the day on Saturday and are followed by diverse performances for all ages throughout Saturday and Sunday.  

"In 2012, ArtsQuest added 'Songs on the Lawn' featuring Michelle Malone and David Ryan Harris," continued Steele. "Due to the popularity of the songwriter and supper club format, we wanted to bring back this element for 2013."

This year, "Songs on the Lawn" will be held on Saturday evening at WaterColor's Marina Park Amphitheater. The ticketed event features several artists who made their debut at the 2012 30A Songwriters Festival.  Returning to 30A for an encore performance, Cory Chisel and his musical partner Adriel Harris, and Asheville-based Kellin Watson will share their stories and songs with concert-goers under the stars.

With a heavy blues-influence, Chisel and Harris held audiences captive during their heart-felt performance at Bentley's in January and impressed fans with their closing rendition of “You Are My Sunshine.” Cory has been influenced by music greats, including Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, Sam Cooke, and Otis Redding.

Chisel's second LP, "Old Believers," has been described as rich, authentic, rock-and-roll, drawing a straight line between the gospel and blues of Cory’s youth and classic rock. The track "I've Been Accused" earned a spot on Esquire's list of "Songs a Man Should Be Listening To This Week." Chisel’s long time keyboard player and singing partner, Adriel, fits together harmoniously with his soulful style.

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