Concerts in the Park 2017 Food Vendor Application

Bring your local tastes to this year’s Concerts in the Park! Join us in Big Spring Park every Monday night June 5 through August 7 for this free concert series. Applications closed for the 2017 series on Monday, March 20th. Applications for the 2018 series will be available on this website in January 2018.

We will have food vendors located in the park, on Williams and on Church Street.

If you have any questions, please contact Lisa Bollinger, Events Manager at


Art Tour of Homes 2017: Meet the Homeowners

For the five homeowners featured on this year’s Art Tour of Homes, presented by Legend Realty, art is an extension and expression of self. We asked each of the homeowners to share how they came to appreciate collecting art and to offer advice for the novice art buyer wanting to start their own.

What is your favorite piece of art in your home and what is the story behind it?

A corner of Beth Grigg’s Jones Valley home.


Beth Griggs: That’s kind of like asking if you have a favorite child! If I have to pick one it would have to be a piece by Carlton Nell that I saw

years ago at his exhibition at the Huntsville Museum of Art. They used the piece for the exhibition announcement postcard and I kept it on my fridge for years….I was finally ready to see if it was available and I contacted the artist. He had just gotten the piece back from a gallery and seemed happy to hear that I had loved it all that time.

Pat Ammons: This isn’t an easy answer because we both have a favorite piece. My favorite is a lithograph of three red birds I bought at Pike Place Market in Seattle. I love everything about the piece, from the modern lines of the birds and their vibrancy to the white over black background on which they are painted to the blue dot that stands in contrast with the other colors. Lee’s favorite is a large watercolor of leaves falling into water by Huntsville artist Yuri Osaki. We saw the work at Monte Sano Art Festival several years ago and walked away and back again three times before deciding we couldn’t leave without it.

Donna Castellano: My favorite piece of art is a gift from the late Bill Nance. I had the privilege of getting to know Bill when he helped with my book, Through the Garden Gate: The Gardens of Historic Huntsville.  Bill was an artistic genius and an incredible teacher.  Months after we finished the book, Bill showed up on my front door, dangling this exquisite piece of art from his finger.  It is a multi-media representation of our family in a garden, framed by a stunning garden gate.

Home of Chuck Vaughn on Monte Sano Mountain. Photo courtesy Bob Gathany – The Huntsville Times

Chuck Vaughn: I have an ongoing friendship with many of the artists I collect, and the pieces are as different as the artists. Very often, I have acquired pieces after I have gotten to know the artist and come to appreciate his/her way of looking at some part of the world or his/her aesthetic sense.  I define art in a broad sense, and include utilitarian objects that have been created not only for function, but with beauty in mind. I tend to value those objects for what they reveal about the maker

Sharon Doviet:  My favorite piece is a fantastical portrait purchased recently called “Pink Bride.”  The color and details are beautiful, but there are tiny details signaling trouble and decay — that I interpret to remind us youth and beauty do not last forever.

How did your design aesthetic come about – organically as you went along or did you have a pre-conceived vision? How does it continue to evolve today?

Beth Griggs: No pre-conceived vision here. My house is pretty eclectic. My parents taught me to love antique furniture, but my art taste tends toward whatever moves me, whether it be landscapes, folk art or anything created by local or southern artists. A few “weird” pieces thrown in.

Pat Ammons & Lee Roop: We buy what we love. We have everything from traditional landscapes to outsider art and mix them together to

Lee Roop’s favorite piece, by Huntsville artist Yuri Osaki, from his and Pat Ammon’s Medical District home.

suit us. I would say we have evolved in the sense we’re bolder in what we purchase, making no excuses for what we like. We are also more willing to take the plunge on more expensive pieces because we know how much joy we will ultimately get from them.


Donna Castellano: Initially, I had a fairly simplistic view of art and purchased pieces because I wanted to see pretty paintings hanging on our walls.  But as I became more educated, went to art shows and festivals, talked to artists and familiarized myself their methods and motivations, I became drawn to art that spoke to me on a deeper level.  I connect to landscapes and pieces that reflect the southern experience, and I have a serious addiction to pottery.  Mike and I collect artwork by southern contemporary artists, which is a fancy way of saying we buy local.

Chuck Vaughn: I think it is important that we continue to see, to learn, and to grow. I believe my aesthetic continues to change, and I hope it always will. I don’t think I’ve ever bought any object knowing clearly where it would land, or worrying about how it would fit in with the rest of my things. I tell people that my design aesthetic is this:  I think that walking into a room should be like going to a family reunion.  You know that everything or person in the room is related, but the objects in a room shouldn’t look alike any more than every member of a family would.  And there should be a bit of tension in the room (just like at a reunion, LOL). One or two odd pieces of furniture or paintings should look “not quite at home”–just like the crazy uncle or cousin that everyone fears might make a scene when the family gathers. I’m only being a bit tongue in cheek.

Chris Russell and Sharon Doviet’s Blossomwood home. Photo courtesy Bob Gathany – The Huntsville Times

Chris Russell & Sharon Doviet: Our design aesthetic comes from our travels.  We love to see new places and experience new ideas.  Art is the same.  A painting can instantly make you feel like you’re in another time and place.  Magic!

What advice would you have for homeowners who are new to art-buying? What would you to say to people who have pre-conceived notions about what it means to be an “art collector” and that buying art isn’t for them?

Beth Griggs: I have never considered myself a “collector”. I buy what speaks to me. I would tell people to just do the same. I have found a lot of what I have at local events and galleries. Panoply, Monte Sano Art Show, Lowe Mill, Little Green Store and Gallery are great places to start.

Pat Ammons: Trust yourself and buy what you like. Huntsville is full of incredibly talented artists working in all kinds of media. You don’t have to have a lot of money to start collecting original art, either. We have pieces we love that cost less than $25. Don’t be afraid of color – you might be surprised how well the most abstract piece can fit in a traditional living room. Support your local artists and always check out Panoply, the Monte Sano Arts Festival and other venues and take time to talk to the artists. When you know the person behind the painting it can mean so much more.

Art & repurposed old architectural items in the home of Donna Castellano. Photo courtesy Bob Gathany – The Huntsville Times.

Donna Castellano: Explore! This is an adventure with no end date.  Every time I think I’ve no reason to buy more art, I will visit a gallery or walk through an arts festival and see something that touches me.  Art is personal.   If it doesn’t make you feel something, if you don’t recognize some part of yourself in a piece, don’t buy it.  If you do, then do not hesitate.  Don’t get caught up in where it will go; it will find a place.  Buy what you love and the collection creates itself.

Chuck Vaughn: If you’re just getting started collecting, you may be more comfortable beginning with pieces that are relatively inexpensive. You might consider starting with utilitarian objects that are handmade, like pottery. Generally much more affordable than painting or sculpture, pottery is still made by hand, aesthetically pleasing, and useful on a daily basis.

Sharon Doviet:  I don’t consider myself to be an “art collector.”  That sounds so fancy.  I just know when I see a painting I love, I can’t stand not to have it.  It’s like it’s yours already and if you don’t buy it, YOUR painting will go to someone else’s house!  I still have regrets for art I didn’t buy.


The Art Tour of Homes will be held Saturday, January 28th from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Additional information and tickets for event can be found here.

Panoply 2017 Performer Application and Guidelines

Thank you for your interest in performing at the 2017 Panoply Arts Festival! Here’s what you need to know about our deadlines, stages, and other details.

Performer Applications for 2017 are now closed.

General Festival and Selection Process Info
The festival will be held April 28-30, 2017 in Big Spring International Park in downtown Huntsville, Alabama.

Festival Hours are:
• Friday, April 28 from 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
• Saturday, April 29 from 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
• Sunday, April 30 from 12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Panoply Performer Timeline
• January 20, 2017 – Application Deadline
• February 2017 – Accept/reject letters emailed the second week of February (includes Performer Stage Diagram Form)
• March 3,2017 – Performer Tech Forms due


Panoply 2016. Photo Courtesy Rick Kress

Selection Process
Programming for Panoply 2017 will feature local and regional performers selected for the festival by our Stage Management committee.
This committee consists of staff and volunteers experienced in all forms of the performing arts. Entries will be evaluated on:

  • Artistic quality of work
  • Technical suitability for an outdoor stage
  • Content suitability for a family audience
  • Performer’s ability to attract and hold an audience
  • Compliance with Call for Entry guidelines



Panoply 2016. Photo Courtesy Rick Kress

Staging Information
There are three stages at the festival. All stages are fully equipped with sound and light systems and operators. We also welcome applications from street performers.
Call for Entry General Criteria
All entries must comply with the following
• Submission of entry is not a guarantee of an invitation to perform at Panoply.
• Each performer must be age 13 or older. This is not an average age.
• Content of performance must be acceptable for general audiences; no preaching or dissemination of political or religious views is allowed.
• Costumes must be suitable for family audience.
• The purpose of the performance must be to entertain an audience rather than to train the performer (i.e., no recitals).
• The entry form must be completed in full and submitted by the deadline.
• The performers/groups MUST be cooperative in working with Festival management and volunteers.
• Photographers will be in the park taking pictures throughout Panoply. Submission of an Entry Form shall constitute permission for Panoply to use photographs of the festival performers in Arts Huntsville publications and for other publicity purposes throughout the year.
• Festival performance is expected to be similar to submitted entry.
• Variety of entire weekend’s programming will be a consideration by Festival management in the final selection.
• Any material submitted for judging must not be more than 2 years old.
• Due to the volume of entries, the selection panel will only be able to review the first five minutes of a performance, so make sure your best performance is at the front of the DVD or CD.

Panoply 2016. Photo Courtesy Rick Kress

Panoply 2016. Photo Courtesy Rick Kress

Criteria for Music
• Taped music is not allowed.
• All performers must submit a link to a video, or a DVD of a RECENT performance or dress rehearsal of work of comparable quality and type to that which will be performed at the festival if selected.
• If a DVD is not available, an MP3 or CD of a RECENT performance plus a large, clear color photograph of the whole group in performance attire will be an acceptable substitute.
Criteria for Theatre & Musical Theatre
• Taped music is allowable backup music for performers, but piano or band is preferred.
• Use of set pieces is encouraged. Sets must be easily setup and struck in no longer than 10 minutes. Panoply has no fly capability.
• Costume changes must be done in the 10×10 tented dressing area provided.
• All performers must submit a link or a DVD of a RECENT performance or dress rehearsal with work of comparable quality and type to that which will be performed at the festival if selected. DVD must be labeled with date and location of performance.
Criteria for Dance
• Taped music is acceptable.
• Costume changes must be done in the 10×10 tented dressing area provided.
• Description and photo/sketch of all costumes to be worn must be included.
• All performers must submit video of a recent performance or dress rehearsal of work of comparable quality and type to that which will be performed at the festival. The video must include a sample of at least three dances.
• Video must be labeled with date and location of performance.
• Panoply reserves the right to limit the number of pieces performed in a 30-minute block.
• MUSIC MUST BE FAMILY-FRIENDLY and Panoply retains the right to stop the performance if the presentation is deemed unsuitable for family viewing.

Panoply 2016. Photo Courtesy Cliff Loehr

Panoply 2016. Photo Courtesy Cliff Loehr

Criteria for Strolling Performers
• Taped music allowed on portable (battery-powered) player.
• Costume and performance material MUST be family-friendly.
• Strolling performers will be provided a weekend pass and be free to come and go; no firm schedule will be built for most strolling performers.
• Kid-centered strolling performers may be booked for slots in the performance areas as well as free to roam the park.
• No dressing rooms are provided for strolling performers.
Don’t Forget…
• Submission of entry is not a guarantee of an invitation to perform at Panoply.
• Performances juried into Panoply will be mailed a stage diagram form that MUST be returned by email or mail to Arts Huntsville by close of business Friday, March 3, 2017.
• Photographers will be in the park during Panoply. Submission of an Entry Form shall constitute permission for Arts Huntsville to use photographs of festival performance for publicity purposes throughout the year.


Performer Applications are now Closed.

Monte Sano Art Festival Returns September 17th & 18th, 2016

Huntsville, AL – Arts Huntsville is pleased to announce that for the first time in its 17 year history, the Monte Sano Art Festival will expand to two days. On Saturday and Sunday, September 17th and 18th, Arts Huntsville will welcome more than 140 visual art exhibitors from 8 states, local food vendors and music to the annual fine arts festival at Monte Sano State Park. Thirty-five of this year’s exhibiting artists are new to the festival. This year’s festival is presented with support from Simple Helix.

Monte Sano Art Festival will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, September 17th and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, September 18th. The festival is free to attend with a $5.00 parking fee to benefit Alabama State Parks. This year the festival will welcome both new artists and festival favorites to fill the park woods adjacent to Monte Sano Lodge with shopping opportunities, as well as food trucks and musicians.

“Monte Sano Art Festival is a Huntsville tradition and we are excited to once again welcome the community to the beautiful Monte Sano State Park to celebrate our region’s talented fine artists,” said Allison Dillon-Jauken, executive director of Arts Huntsville. “Due to the tremendous response from the community in 2015, we chose to expand the festival to two days to give shoppers more opportunities to explore our region’s talented fine artists, in mediums varying from painting to photography, pottery, sculpture, wool felting, jewelry and more.”

Founded in 1999, the Monte Sano Art Festival was created for the cultural benefit of the community by volunteers who lived in the mountain neighborhood surrounding the state park. In 2015, Arts Huntsville joined with the local volunteer team to manage the programming and logistics of the art show.

This year’s festival will once again feature local food trucks and vendors, including: The Big Easy Mobile Food Trailer, Rollin Lobstah, What’s Popp’N, Iceworks Shaved ice, Piper & Leaf, Suzy’s Pops , Fire & Spice Tex-Mex Food Truck, Valentine’s and Chupper Time. Throughout the weekend, performances by Chip Gulbro and Rob Noneman, The Beasley Brothers, Reginald Jackson, Jimmy Henderson and Winslow Davis will be featured at the pavilion. Other local talent, the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra String Quartet, Morgan Sloan, Steven Massey and Milltowne will entertain on the bluff.

Special thanks to this year’s presenting sponsor Simple Helix, and our supporters Torch Technologies and Siniard, Timberlake and League. 

LIT: Light + Innovation + Technology Returns to Downtown Square Saturday, August 27th

Huntsville, AL – Arts Huntsville and Downtown Huntsville, Inc. will once again bring digital art projections, colorful light and environmental design to the Downtown Huntsville Square at the third annual LIT: Light + Innovation + Technology festival, sponsored by Curse, Inc. On Saturday, August 27th from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., four teams will transform all sides of the Downtown Square into a living work of art. From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., attendees are invited to play with light at the inaugural DayLIT.

lit posterThe four finalists will create dynamic artwork on the square and compete for cash prizes. This year’s finalists are Kenny Paone, Rachel Marrero, LED Orange and the University of Alabama Huntsville. The first place team will receive $2500 with $1000 for second place and $500 for both third and fourth place. Attendees will enjoy lights moving to music, 3D mapped content along with interactive video and light. Videos, LEDs, music and computer-generated art will surround the square with color and sound. Streets on all four sides of the square will be closed to allow festivalgoers the chance to truly immerse themselves in the light experience.

“This juried festival celebrates the uniqueness of Huntsville through the fusion of light, innovation and technology while embodying the principles of STEAM education,” said Allison Dillon-Jauken, executive director of Arts Huntsville. “We are delighted to once again partner with Downtown Huntsville, Inc. to celebrate the creative side of our community.”

This year, Arts Huntsville and Downtown Huntsville, Inc. are excited to announce a new element to the event, called DayLIT. This pre-LIT event will feature glow in the dark chalk and screen printing, light throwies, green power cars, telescopes, UV bead/electromagnetic spectrum activity and a Mars walk app.

“It will be a free, kid-centric event where children of all ages can enjoy light-themed games and activities thanks to our partners at Lockheed Martin,” said Chad Emerson, CEO of Downtown Huntsville, Inc. “Then as the sun sets, DayLIT will evolve into LIT as we light the night on the Downtown Square.”

In addition to restaurants on the square, food trucks will also be on hand to provide tasty treats for hungry festivalgoers.  Fire & SpicePearl: Asian CuisineRollin Lobstah, Aww Shucks, Highway Kabobery Food TruckSugar Belle and Hindsight Coffee Co. will be located just off the square on Green Street.

Both LIT events are appropriate for all ages and free to the public. For information on LIT, please visit