In colder climates Spring announces itself when the first delicate purple crocuses poke through the snow. In the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach area we like to welcome Spring with an amazing display of visual, culinary, literary,  and performance art. The Orange Beach Festival of Art grows in popularity each year with more than 25,000 guests expected to attend in 2012.

The festival takes place at The Orange Beach Art Center’s campus and the adjoining Waterfront Park. Festival admission is only $1 for ages 12 and up. The Visual Arts includes 90 Artists from across the nation with live demonstrations of glass blowing, molten iron casting and raku pottery firing. The Culinary Arts brings the unique flavors of the Gulf Coast as local restaurateurs prepare specialties for festival guest. The Performing Arts includes two stages of non-stop music and entertainment with individual performers scattered about the Festival site. Even kids enjoy the festival with the wonderful Kids’ Art Alley offering amazing children’s art activities.

Rick Bragg

Native Alabaman Rick Bragg leads the slate of authors scheduled to speak during the festival. The Pulitzer-prize winning journalist is best known for his works of non-fiction that chronicle his life in Alabama. Mr. Bragg is the domestic correspondent to the New York Times Atlanta office and provides a monthly column for Southern Living Magazine.

Anansema Cultural Group – Ghana

We are particularly pleased this year to welcome the Anansema Cultural Group from Accra, Ghana who is visiting as part of a cultural grant provided by their country. They will perform original tribal dance as well as teach drum making and carving. They will remain here for a week to provide cultural exchange to groups and students in the area. We are fortunate to have them visit from such a great distance and are honored to be included in their tour which includes London and Adelaide, Australia.

Carlyn Ray

Another must-see at this year’s festival is our guest glass artist, Carlyn Ray. She and resident glass artist, Sam Cornman will be continuously creating glass art at The Hot Shop throughout the festival. If you are visiting and would like to leave with a unique souvenir or gift for a friend, the glass-making facility at the Orange Beach Art Center is sure to please.


The festival is located at 26389 Canal Road in Orange Beach, but shuttles are available for $1 at the Orange Beach Publix, Orange Beach City Hall, The Wharf and the State Park Pavilion.

For more information about the festival and for a complete list of artists, visit the Orange Beach Festival of Art website or call (251) 981-2787.