The Finer Things in Life | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

The Finer Things in Life

Ridgeland Fine Arts Festival brings crafts and art to the Renaissance at Colony Park April 5-6.

Ridgeland Fine Arts Festival brings crafts and art to the Renaissance at Colony Park April 5-6.

From woodworking and jewelry to sculpture and painting, the Ridgeland Fine Arts Festival offers visitors a look at high-quality, handmade crafts from some of the best artists across the U.S.

"This is a family event that provides everyone an opportunity to get out in the open air and experience what Ridgeland has to offer, and it gives everyone a chance to engage with the artists and learn more about their style, their work, and how and why they got into art in the first place," event planner Mary Beth Wilkerson says.

The sixth annual juried fine-arts show will exhibit 80 different artists representing many different creative media. A panel of jurors picks a winner in each category and one artist receives the Ridgeland Fine Arts Festival's highest honor, Best in Show.

Several winners from previous years will show again, including Sturgis, Miss., sculptor Patrick Tranum; North Dakota-based 2D mixed-media artist Michael Madzo; and New York City-based painter Ellie Ali.

The Ridgeland Fine Arts Festival also hosts various forms of entertainment throughout the weekend. Master craftsmen from the Mississippi Craft Center will demonstrate what it takes to excel in their artistic trades; several local and regional musicians will perform; and the Children's Craft Corner will give kids a chance to make original artwork to add a little more panache to the refrigerator door.

The Sante South Wine Festival is on Saturday and showcases wines from all over the world. The festival is the largest wine and culinary event in the state. In addition to giving wine vintners and gourmet chefs from around the country a chance to share their lovingly labored-over drink and food, the Wine Festival also benefits the Mississippi Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association.

For Jackson-resident attendees, the event's organizers are working on a shuttle schedule to provide safer passage to and from the wine festival.

"We're excited this year that our festivals fall on the same weekend," Wilkerson says. "The two festivals complement each other so well, and people get a chance to try some new wines from almost everywhere, really. We have 30 winemakers from all over the world. ... I know the big draw of both festivals coinciding for us, as producers, is it gives another great event to keep people here in Ridgeland and (to) show what we have to offer."

The Ridgeland Fine Arts Festival is 10 a.m.-7 p.m. April 5 and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. April 6 at the Renaissance at Colony Park (1000 Highland Colony Parkway, Ridgeland, 601-519-0900). The Sante South Wine Festival grand tasting is 7:30-10 p.m. April 5. Ticket prices vary. Visit and

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