While being raised in Roswell and Stone Mountain, Stephanie Peebles was taught about sustainability at a young age.
“Growing up I had an influence from my grandmother (Roberta Morse) and my mom (Lee Morse) to reuse or recycle. So living green was a huge inspiration in my life at an early age, and I encompass that in all of my designs,” she said. “My grandmother, she was an artist as well. Seeing how she was able to paint cypress knees and gourds, seeing how she could reuse and repurpose things that were already there, I just thought that was (important).”
Peebles is one of about 150 artists who will be displaying and selling their artwork this weekend at the 10th annual Chastain Park Spring Arts Festival in Buckhead. Peebles, a longtime Inman Park resident who recently moved to Atlanta’s Venetian Hills community, makes necklaces and bracelets under the name Stephanie Leigh Jewelry. She gets her materials from Ghana and Atlanta.
“My jewelry is all ethically sourced and sustainable, and my tagline is ‘Made by hand with the spirit in mind,’” Peebles said. “I handcraft each piece locally at my studio at the Goat Farm (Art Center in west Midtown).
“As an artist, I aspire to created sustainably and ethically designed pieces that are comfortable and user-friendly. … All of my beads are made out of (recycled) glass bottles. My leather is salvaged from furniture scrap remnants in Atlanta.”
The festival will take place May 11 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and May 12 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and has free admission. It will include fine art and crafts for sale, a children’s area, live music and local food and beverages sold by vendors and gourmet food trucks.
“This is our Mother’s Day event, and we have been voted the Best Mother’s Day Event in Metro Atlanta several years running by (some local media outlets),” said Randall Fox, vice president/development of the Atlanta Foundation for Public Spaces, the Midtown-based nonprofit hosting this festival and 12 others in 2019.
This year the festival will have an expanded food court area, which Fox said should encourage attendees to stay longer, based on experience with past festivals.
“We’re excited about that,” he said.
Fox added the event will also have a special musical guest. Kameron Marlowe of Kannapolis, North Carolina, who advanced to the Round of 24 on Season 15 of NBC’s “The Voice” in November, will perform.
“We’re trying to up our music presence and really invest in it,” Fox said.
Peebles, who has been making jewelry for 15 years and became a full-time artist two years ago, said her tagline goes along with the feeling individuals get when they purchase her pieces.
“It kind of ties into the sustainability and how ethically sourced my designs are. People always tell me they putting on a necklace, it feels like they’re putting on a hug,” she said, adding she uses on her necklaces a solid brass snap instead of a clasp on the back of my leather to make it easier to put on and off.
Peebles said her Krobo three-strand necklace, which has materials that come from a village in Ghana and is named after that village, is her most popular item sold. She added her jewelry is more than just an accessory.
“There’s just a feeling in my jewelry that speaks to them, that (a particular) necklace was made for them,” she said. “My bracelets have gemstones with metaphysical properties that have healing (powers). A therapist in New York purchased one of my necklaces and wrote a story about how it seemed like a warm blanket.”
Peebles is displaying and selling her jewelry at the Chastain festival for the second straight year.
“I love Chastain Park,” she said. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to experience Georgia’s beautiful spring weather in a natural landscape. It is the perfect setting for artists to showcase their work. I feel like it’s a welcomed retreat from the daily hustle and bustle of our lively city.”
The same goes for Fox.
“We’re just happy the event continues to grow and gets better and better each year,” he said. “We’re happy we’re metro Atlanta’s number one Mother’s Day event. The weather has been perfect on Mother’s Day.”
The park is located at 4469 Stella Drive in Atlanta. For more information on the festival, visit www.chastainparkartsfestival.com.