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LKN Festival of the Arts has a national following

‘Arrive in Style’ by Dawn Kinney Martin

The Third Annual Lake Norman Festival of the Arts, a world-class, two-day art fair in Birkdale Village, will bring thousands of visitors to Lake Norman the weekend of May 18-19. More than 100 national and local artists are set to display their works, which includes paintings, fine jewelry and other works of art.

The festival also includes a craft market with handmade goods, live plants and artisan-created works.

Judges select exhibitors

Birkdale Village, the open-air shopping center with restaurants, stores and offices situated around a long village green, now has artificial turf.

All artists on site for duration of festival.

The art show is presented by Howard Alan Events, a producer of juried art shows. The exhibitors are selected by an independent panel of expert judges from hundreds of applicants. HAE’s careful vetting process also ensures a wide array of mediums and price ranges will be offered during the event.

HAE has an affinity for upscale venues, including places like Boca Raton.

Gorilla marketing

Howard Alan himself is an interesting character in the art world. A former chiropractor, he opened an art gallery in Plantation, Fla. He featured 40-50 artists and crafters on consignment, which worked just fine. But to promote the business even more, he placed a 6-foot-4-inch gorilla named Magilla out on the street. It featured signs that said the gorilla was running for Mayor.

The real Mayor had Howard arrested, according to Alan. The publicity stunt worked, and Howard went on to a successful career as an art promoter on a national scale.

His first show was in a Boca Raton during the summer. “Let’s just say it was a great learning experience,” he said. Howard also started promoting craft shows in shopping centers, in conjunction with bands, classic cars and beauty pageants.

Today, HAE is one of the top art fair promoters in the industry. Along with Debbie, his wife and business partner of 30 years and staff, Howard runs 45 annual juried art shows and 40 annual craft shows out of a small office in Jupiter, Fla.

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