Market Street Bridge by Stephen GrahamMarket Street Bridge by Stephen Graham
The Who-Fest  Folk Art Festival returns earlier and in a new location this year. The popular art and music festival returns to the North Shore this weekend at Coolidge Park. Celebrating it sixth year in Chattanooga, the festival is produced by Winder Binder Gallery & Bookstore in collaboration with the Who Ha Da Da Artist’s Fellowship and the Shaking Ray Levi Society.
“The really big thing is moving to Coolidge Park from Renaissance Park and the shift to from Memorial Day weekend Mother’s Day weekend,” said David Smotherman of Winder Binder. “Coolidge is a more mature park with more trees, so we hope it will be a bit cooler.”
Originally produced in Atlanta, Who-Fest moved to Chattanooga in 2007. The festival normally attracts 70 local, regional and national artists and provides the unique opportunity to meet and purchase directly from artists that specialize in folk, outsider, visionary, and self-taught art. Fields of study include painting, glass, metalworking, sculpture, jewelry, pottery, furniture, photography and textiles.
“There’s a strong theme of folk art,” said Smotherman, who also produces the Faux Bridges Festival. “Half of the artists are folk artists, but there are also jewelers and potters. But the true heart of the festival has always been really strong folk art.”
After five years at Renaissance Park, the festival committee decided to change the venue to the much more visible Coolidge Park, said Smotherman. An earlier date in May was also secured to help avoid the typical Memorial Day weekend heat.
Festival organizers have also announced that music director Tina Torrance, with the support of the Shaking Ray Levi Society, will once again host two days of diverse musical offerings from local performers.
Who-Fest \ Folk Art Festival
Free 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.