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River Clay festival celebrates visual arts

DECATUR – The River Clay Fine Arts Festival welcomes local and national artists who will bring their works of art and unique creations to the River City October 21-22, 2023, for a celebration of the visual arts. In addition to the juried art show, festivalgoers are treated to student art exhibits, children’s activities, food trucks, live music and new for this year’s event, a patron hospitality lounge.

Representing 10 states, this year’s River Clay Fine Arts Festival welcomes 67 artists from North Alabama and surrounding states as well as Ohio, Missouri and Indiana, who will be selling a variety of original works of art, including ceramics, fiber, glass, jewelry, metalwork, mixed media, paintings, photography, sculptures and wood.

Attendees can look forward to a new sponsorship/donation opportunity that includes a patron hospitality lounge featuring televisions to check in on the football scores, storage for art purchases, seating, private bathrooms, an artist brunch on Sunday, “Patron’s Choice” ribbons to award to a favorite artist, River Clay Cash, a collectible pin and more. Stay tuned to www.riverclay.org for more information on this new program.

The children’s art area features fun activities to express their creativity, including a paint-by-number truck (a real, full-size truck that will be painted and driven throughout the year).

Along with experienced artists, the festival celebrates up-and-coming artists from local schools. Festivalgoers will enjoy seeing the display of artwork representing students from  schools from across Morgan County.

In addition to purchasing one-of-a-kind creations, festivalgoers have an opportunity to connect with the artists and to learn more about them. A variety of culinary creations will be available from local food trucks and beer and wine will be available to purchase.

River Clay is held on the grounds of Decatur City Hall located at 402 Lee Street NE in downtown Decatur. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 21, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, October 22. Admission is $5 per person for a weekend pass. Children 12 years old and under get in free and must be accompanied by an adult.

A limited number of tickets is available for River Clay Rendezvous to be held Friday, October 20, from 5 to 9 p.m. for those who wish to preview the works offered by the selected artists. River Clay Rendezvous opens at 5 p.m. on the City Hall Campus festival site. Patrons get the first look at the 2023 festival artists, which also includes the first chance to purchase the art. Light hors d’oeurves and drinks are served. At 7 p.m., patrons move up the street to the Alabama Center for the Arts for more food and drink from local restaurants. A special art exhibit and live music round out this social event, which has become a much anticipated event each year. Additionally, the Rendezvous ticket includes weekend admission to the festival. River Clay Rendezvous tickets are $60 per person and may be purchased online.


For more information on the River Clay Fine Arts Festival, including a list of participating artists, visit www.riverclay.org.


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