Watercolors and woodcraft and everything in between will be featured as part of this year’s Old Oak Festival, returning to the Tusculum College campus April 17-19.
The arts and music festival will span three days and will feature something for everyone, including crafts, music, art, theater, storytelling and area authors, as well as gallery and museum exhibits.
The festival will feature an extensive variety of crafted products, from walking sticks and wooden puzzles to Christmas ornaments, soft sculpture, pencil drawings and llama fiber products. Other crafts include scrollsaw wood art, dolls, baby items, tobacco stick art and signs, polymer jewelry, lotions and soap, quilts, needlework, baskets, stained glass, crochet items, bath and body products, handmade ironworks and dulcimers, gourds, rustic art, herbs, handprints, photography, bows, scarves and purses.
“We are expecting a wide variety of artists, including painters, craftsmen and sculptors, whose work will be available for purchase. Arts will include pottery, woodcrafts and folk art,” said David Price, festival coordinator and director of music at Tusculum College.
Demonstrations will also be conducted in pottery, blacksmithing and carving by the Evergreen Woodcarvers.
Musician Sharon Babb will be hosting mountain dulcimer workshops each day of the festival. Babb has been teaching dulcimer for many years, and there is no fee to attend the workshops. The workshop schedule will be Friday, April 17, 2-3:30 p.m.; Saturday, April 18, 10-11:30 a.m. and 2-3:30 p.m., and Sunday, April 19, 2-3:30 p.m. She will be teaching traditional and modern songs, with some in-between. Babb also builds mountain dulcimers, which she will have available for purchase at the festival.
If you have a dulcimer in need of strings or minor repair, stop by the blacksmith/dulcimer booth before class. There will be a small fee for repairs and strings. If you do not have a dulcimer, you may sign up to borrow one for class. Supply is limited. If you have questions, call Babb at 865-919-7214.
The Walnut Ridge llamas, previous favorites of the festival, will visit the Tusculum College campus over the weekend, and products made from llama fiber will be available.
The Doak House Museum will sponsor a batik workshop during the three days of the festival. Participants will learn how to make stunning designs on natural fiber cloth using the wax-resist dyeing method. Reservations and advance deposits are required. The workshop will be held in the heart of the festival on the main campus. Contact Leah Walker at 423-636-8554 or firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations and more information.
There are limited spaces still available for artisan and crafter booths. Deadline for reserving a booth is Wednesday, April 8, or until all spaces are filled.
“With three stages and special performances at the Doak House Museum, the musical acts this year will provide a wide variety to suit all musical tastes, with some top rate performances on all three days,” said Price.
The Fiddlin’ Carson Peters Band and the Old Time Travelers, a duo from Chattanooga Tennessee, will perform on the Doak House lawn on the Saturday of the festival, and will be featured during the festival on the main stage.
Other scheduled performers include Richard and Eva, Stem Winder, Charles Tunstall, Thursday Night Boys, Steve Brown, Mike Joy, Shiloh Road, the Tusculum College Alumni All-Star band, My New Favorites, the Threetles, the Tusculum College Jazz Band, the Tusculum College Concert Band, the Tusculum College Handbell Choir, Jim and Curtis Moneyhun, John Vandiver, the Step Cousins, Fuse Worship, Josh Miller and Joyce Carroll.
In addition to artist vendors and music performances throughout the day on Friday and Saturday, there will be three performances during the festival of “5X10,” presented by Tusculum students under the direction of Wayne Thomas, the interim dean of the arts and sciences, Frank Mengel, Arts Outreach technical director and instructor, and Brian Ricker, Arts Outreach and assistant.
Performances will be held in the Behan Arena Theatre in the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Center. Show times are Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. To reserve tickets, contact Arts Outreach at 423-798-1620.
The college’s Allison Gallery will be open throughout the weekend, featuring a faculty and family spotlight exhibition by Dr. Deborah Bryan, associate professor of art at Tusculum.
Several writers will be presenting works throughout the festival weekend. Authors include Carolyn Gregg, Emory Rhea Raxter, Joe Tennis, Keith Bartlett, Lisa Hall, Matilda Green, Shirley Butler, Claudia Ware, James Campbell, Tom Yancey, Rick Toomey, Charles Tunstall, Bill Nance and George Ryan.
Both the President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library and the Doak House Museum will be open to visitors during the festival and will have special activities from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and 1-4 p.m. on Sunday.
For the length of the festival only, the museum will open its collections storage to display never before exhibited Appalachian chairs and other furnishings, titled “Sittin’ Pretty: Selections from the Doak House Furniture Collection.” Admission is free and donations are appreciated.
The President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library will sponsor a 19th Century Toys and Games booth in the children’s area. Come and play with traditional folk toys and make-and-take your very own toy as a souvenir. In addition to the museum’s activities, the education department at Tusculum College will be hosting children’s activities, which will be led by Kathryn Crumm, assistant professor of education.
The festival will feature children’s activities on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and again on Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.
Food selection will include festival favorites, such as homemade strawberry shortcake, Philly cheese steak and Mennonite doughnuts. Food vendors include Rural Resources, Mr. Turkey Leg, Mac’s Fine Foods, Creamy Cup, TopDog HotDog, Cold Water Farm, Auntie Ruth’s and Carly’s Kettle Korn. Music and food will be available until 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and until 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Tusculum students will be participating in a Marble Pursuit Board Game Tournament hosted by the Tusculum College Band Program. The first round begins Friday April 17, at 6:45 p.m. in the Pioneer Perk in the Niswonger Commons. Spectators are welcome
There is no fee to attend the festival. Art vendor hours will be Friday from noon until 6 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. For more information, contact Price at 423-636-7303.
Coolers and alcohol are prohibited during the festival.
The festival is being coordinated by a committee of college and community representatives who are working to promote arts and music in the East Tennessee region.