Inspired by the rich artistic legacy of Historic Melrose, the Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches (APNH) is delighted to host the inaugural Melrose Folk Art Festival. This outdoor event will take place on October 9 & 10, 2021 at Melrose Plantation. The festival will feature dozens of folk artists from Louisiana and around the South displaying and selling their handcrafted, original arts from booths set up across the beautiful grounds. Folk artists use traditional methods, materials, and/or designs. They may draw upon artistic legacies passed down from previous generations or reflect their specific cultural heritage within their work. Works for display and sale at the festival will include paintings and drawings, glasswork, textiles, metalwork, basketry, and woodworking. Admissions will be sold at the gate: $5 for ages 12+, $2 for kids 6-11, free for 5 and under. The hours of the festival are 10 am – 5 pm on Saturday, 10 am – 4 pm on Sunday.
The first Melrose Folk Art Festival is pleased to announce their Featured Artist: Kathy Tate Davis. Natchitoches artist Kathy Tate Davis has been an Okra Pod Artist since 1993. She makes original hand-made sculptures from dried okra pods and other products of nature. Pine cones and gourds are added for larger pieces. Kathy will have a booth at the festival, displaying and selling her distinctive folk art pieces. Kathy will be featured in the upcoming fall 2022 issue of “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.” She is a current member of The Natchitoches Art Guild & Gallery. Over the past 28 years, her art has been published in Southern Living, The Farm Market Bulletin, Teddy Bear Scene & various newspaper articles.
In addition to the artists, there will be food vendors and folk dancers. The NSU Art Demons will be hosting an art exhibition in the historic Creole Barn. Tours of the Big House and African House will be available for an additional charge. This event is inspired by Clementine Hunter, the famous folk artist who lived and worked at Melrose, and whose works are available for viewing at African House on site. October 1 has been designated “Clementine Hunter Day” by the State of Louisiana. Funds raised from this event will support the ongoing preservation of Melrose Plantation, a National Historic Site. Sponsorship has been provided by the Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission, Natchitoches CVB, and BOM.
In case of inclement weather, a rain date has been set for the following weekend. The organizers will follow all federal, state, and local mandates relating to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Any changes to the festival will be announced through social media and the website.
For more information, visit www.melroseplantation.org or “Melrose Plantation” on Facebook. Melrose Plantation is located at 3533 Hwy 119, only 15 miles south of Natchitoches, LA.