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For those who like art and festivals rolled into one, get ready for the biggest and most vibrant celebration of the arts in Calvert County: Artsfest 2012 at Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center.

With 150 artists some local, many from up and down the East Coast ranging from jewelry to paintings, wood carvings to sculpture, Artsfest has something for everyone.

“The mediums are so varied, this is a wonderful opportunity to be exposed to art,” said Jackie Sudore-Flood, director of marketing and development for Annmarie Garden.

There are many new features to this year’s event, including what Sudore-Flood called the “Artsfest bus.”

Provided by Thomas and Sons Transport, the Artsfest ’12 bus will travel from Annmarie Garden to the center of Solomons Island [the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office satellite station] every 30 minutes Sept. 15, for drop-off and pick-up. Transportation is free, timely and enables visitors to the event to enjoy all of Solomons. The bus will only run on Saturday.

“This will be the first time we have offered transportation to the island, so we’re sort of running it on Saturday as an experiment,” Sudore-Flood explained. “If it is successful, we may bring it back in the future for the entire weekend.”

The art for the post cards Annmarie Garden is sending out for the event features the work of Dale Wayne of Altamonte Springs, Fl. Wayne was artist in residence for the summer at Annmarie and has left behind beautifully sculptured trees made out of recycled soda bottles.

“They’re beautiful,” said Sudore-Flood. “Who knew that soda bottles came in so many different colors?”

The plastic trees now dot the landscape at Annmarie and have become part of the fabric of the place, which is, after all, a center for art.

“For those visitors who like to dabble in art, Artsfest will have workshops where students can interact with teachers. They’ll be able to do sculpture, painting, work with clay, glass, jewelry, wood and fiber,” Sudore-Flood said. “And while there are a lot of activities for kids, there’s so much here for adults. The new Artlab will be open for people to pop in and see it. Artlab is for all ages. It will help people discover how to recycle in different ways.”

The Artlab also features a new mural constructed completely from plastic bottle caps, tin can lids and old plastic Easter eggs. The scene composed of the cast-off lids and tops forms a scene of the Chesapeake Bay. The lab itself is constructed entirely of recycled material. Sudore-Flood said that Robin Strayer, the regular teacher at the Artlab, is “amazing.

“She can create bags out of T-shits,” Sudore-Flood said. “These are modern usable bags I would easily pay $40 for. She’s selling them for $10. It’s just another way to keep waste from going in our landfills. That’s what Annmarie Garden is all about. There will be opportunities for people to participate on any level.”

There will be plenty of entertainment as well. Artsfest ’12 opens with more than 25 acts performing on the main stage, within the council ring, inside the arts building, and throughout Annmarie Garden. Special performances include folk rock musicians Yellow Tie Guy and Slim Harrison & the Sunnyland Band, a roots and kids participatory jug band, on the main stage.

Sudore-Flood estimated that the event will draw as many as 12,000 people.

“The crowd size largely depends on the weather,” she said. “Last year, the weather was awful and we still had 10,000 people here. We’re hoping for an absolutely beautiful weekend but the event will be held rain or shine.”

jnorris@somdnews.com

Artsfest 2012 at Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center

Where: 13480 Dowell Road, Dowell

When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 15-16

Admission: $6 per person. Annmarie Garden members and children 11 and under, are free. Parking is free and located in the field adjacent to Annmarie Garden. A handicap pick-up and drop-off is located at the front gate.

Contact: www.annmariegarden.org or call 410-326-4640.