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Artists, patrons converge on Folk Fest in Norcross

Greg Martin and his daughter Tyler view art at the Folk Fest event this weekend in Norcross.

Greg Martin and his daughter Tyler view art at the Folk Fest event this weekend in Norcross.

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Braselton artist Chris Hobe sits in a booth at the Folk Fest annual art show in Norcross.

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James Dean signs one of his cat art designs for Pam Costa, who purchased the piece at Folk Fest in Norcross.

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Robin Allen stands before his 150-pound life-size horse made entirely of Mountain laurel limbs. He called the piece a “show stopper” at the annual Folk Fest in Norcross.

NORCROSS — Two years ago, Sister Katz came to the annual Folk Fest event in Norcross and found inspiration.

She began work on a series of paintings, where the faces pop from the canvas, making for three-dimensional art. And she became one of dozens of artists to sell their wares at this weekend’s event.

The festival, which celebrated its 20th anniversary at the North Atlanta Trade Show in Norcross, brought about 12,000 people as one of the largest art shows in Atlanta.

“It’s a cool vibe,” said Braselton artist Chris Hobe. “Under one roof in Atlanta, you really don’t have this caliber of artists at one time.”

Susan Chamberlain traveled from Marietta to take in the art, which ranged from canvas creations to pieces on tin, handcrafted jewelry and fabrics, painted pianos and benches, pottery and metal sculpture.

“I make a point to come every year,” Chamberlain said, adding that Folk Fest and another Cobb event are the premiere showings each year.

“I grew up around art shows,” she said, adding that her father was a wood carver and her mother worked in embroidery. “It’s in my blood.”

Organizer Amy Slotin said the event was on track to match the success it has garnered in the past two decades. This year, she said, she was well pleased with the talent of the artists who have joined in the show.

“We had some things that were really great, some things that I have never seen before,” Slotin said. “We have quite an eclectic grouping.”

Along the back wall, one piece seemed to stop many participants in their tracks.

Robin Allen showed off his creation of a life-size horse made entirely of limbs of mountain laurel.

“It was a timely process, picking out each and every piece,” he said, explaining that it took more than two months to complete the task but noting that it could have taken years to find the perfect piece that he happened upon to create the illusion of one hoof pawing the ground.

Displaying the horse with his sister’s Rosehips Gallery space, said he would love to sell the horse but that he has become attached to it.

“When you do find that buyer, you hate to see it go,” he said, adding that he is proud of the work. “It’s been a show stopper.”