To describe Tom Chambers’ artwork as unique would be an understatement.
“It’s hard to describe. … I take branches and incorporate (them) into art design,” the Blairsville resident said. “I create designs using the branches, and some people say it looks like metal. I form single branches into a design and make it joined so it looks like it grew that way.”
Chambers is one of nearly 150 artists from all over the Southeast who will have their works displayed and sold at this weekend’s Chastain Park Spring Arts Festival in Buckhead. Set for Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the ninth annual event caters to families, especially with Mother’s Day this Sunday.
The festival, which has free admission, 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.
“The Chastain Park Spring Festival is a more casual, family event. It is one of the larger Mother’s Day events in metro Atlanta and was voted the Best Mother’s Day Event in metro Atlanta by two publications,” said Randall Fox, vice president/development of the Atlanta Foundation for Public Spaces, the Midtown-based nonprofit hosting this festival and 15 others in 2018.
Fox said he’s pleased with the improvements the city of Atlanta has made to the park, which includes new restrooms and a major renovation of its amphitheatre.
“We feel like we’re woven into the fabric of Chastain and all the changes going on,” he said. “Ebony Barley, the director of the mayor’s office of special events, and her team have been instrumental in helping us bring the event together along with Doug Voss, the (city’s) director of parks.”
Chambers lived in Orlando and worked for Sears for 34 years before retiring and moving with his wife to a cabin in Blairsville, about 100 miles north of Atlanta, in 2008. At that time he became a full-time artist.
“I was an art major in college … and got back into it (after retiring),” he said. “I wanted to do something that’s different. I didn’t want to be a bowl turner or make birdhouses or make clay. I wanted to do something … no one else has done. I started using branches to create this artwork. I kind of fell into it and it’s taken off for me.”
Chambers, who said goes to 13 to 14 art festivals and shows each year, has been coming to the Chastain one for five years.
“I think because it’s on Mother’s Day weekend, it draws huge crowds of people out to buy art,” he said. “It’s one that’s been productive for us year after year after year.”
The park is located at 4469 Stella Drive in Atlanta. For more information on the festival, visit www.chastainparkartsfestival.com.