Art in the Park draws crowd to Columbia County amphittheater

Nicole Broadway seemed oblivious to the blue and purple chalk dust that covered nearly every inch of her as she intently blended and brushed and blended again the chalk lines in her rendering of James Bond.

From 11:15 a.m. until nearly 5 p.m., she worked on her entry in the Art in the Park sidewalk art contest Saturday.

Her 007 was one of dozens of chalk drawings that lined the sidewalk at the Columbia County amphitheater. The drawings were one of the main attractions at the eighth annual arts festival, put on by Columbia County Arts Inc. The event included jewelers, fiber artists and weavers creating their works.

Broadway, who is a freshman art major at Covenant College, has participated in the event for the past three years. She chose a James Bond theme after watching old Bond movies and falling in love with the character.

“Last year I did a military tribute, and the year before that I did Abbey Road by The Beatles,” she said. “It was about time for a movie theme.”

As local musicians and performers provided a soundtrack for the event, families wandered in and out of vendor tents. The event was expected to draw more than 50 vendors and community organizations.

Some, like the Buzzellis, found plenty of activities for children. At the Columbia County Artist Guild booth, Carol Carrier helped Giada Buzzelli, 3, and Francesca Buzzelli, 2, choose colors to make thumbprints. A few strokes of Carrier’s pen turned the prints into colorful butterflies.

“They’ve had lots of fun,” said Heidi Buzzelli, the girls’ mother. “It’s nice that they offer a lot of free things.”

Nearby, Ralph Donaldson sat outside his booth and watched the artists at work.

The artwork he and his son Dan Donaldson had created – brooms with gnarled and varnished handles – filled the canvas tent beside him.

He said The Broom Brothers, as their Dublin, Ga., company is known, was asked to participate in Art in the Park after a Columbia County Arts member spotted their work at Arts in the Heart of Augusta in September.

The men participate in about two dozen shows a year.

“It’s been good. It’s a good place and a good show,” Ralph Donaldson said.

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