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Arts Festival To Feature New Events

<bt>An individual artist's "palette" awaits everyone attending Alexandria's third annual Festival of the Arts this Sept. 10-11. And its colors could create a montage of memories.

As one of the new additions to this year's kick off event for Alexandria's Fall for the Arts Season, the Festival of the Arts Palette Program is designed to draw attendees into businesses and restaurants while they enjoy original art from more than 200 exhibitors.

"We are color-coding King Street and the adjacent side streets from the King Street Metro station to the waterfront with colored balloons at each intersection. Those colors will correspond to colors on a palette brochure available at information tables located up and down the street," said Laura Overstreet, vice president for communications at the Alexandria Convention and Visitors Association.

"Festival attendees will take their palettes to participating retail shops and restaurants, who will offer colored stickers to be placed on the appropriate colors on the palette. Once a palette is filled, the attendee can enter that palette into a drawing for one of many $75 gift certificates to participating Alexandria restaurants," Overstreet said.

"No purchase is required and the certificate is good for a year. The object is to draw attendees to Alexandria businesses where the merchants can feature whatever promotion they choose," she said.

Drawings are planned to take place at the conclusion of the festival.

THIS YEAR'S participating juried artists are once again under the direction of Howard Alan Events, Ltd. in cooperation with the city, the Alexandria Commission for the Arts and ACVA. In its three-year history, Alexandria's festival has gain such popularity it is now listed among the Top 100 Art Events by Sunshine Artist magazine, according to ACVA.

"It is sold out and there are juried artists on the waiting list," said Laura Rod, director of ACVA marketing. Works from artists in all mediums will be on display and for sale.

Once again this year, the festival will consume six blocks of King Street from Washington Street to the river from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11 with works from nationally acclaimed artists. During those hours, that portion of King Street will be transformed into an outdoor art gallery where visitors and browse and purchase original offerings.

Enhancing the artistic local flavor introduced last year will be artists from throughout the region, including Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. A Regional Artists Juried Exhibition will take place on Market Square.

"We hope to have 35 to 40 local area artists participate this year in both paintings and three-dimensional art," said Pat Miller, vice chair for the Alexandria Commission of the Arts. They will be juried by Tom Collins, executive director, Baltimore Contemporary Museum, and Leigh Taylor Mickelson, exhibition director, Baltimore Clayworks.

"The other new thing we are doing this year is a special section to exhibit the works of city and state officials who are also artists," Miller said. "We have some very talented people like Marian Van Landingham."

MARKET SQUARE will also serve as this year's venue for Performing Artists. They will entertain on Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Featuring a variety of entertainers performing everything from vintage jazz, to country, to folk, blues and rock, each group will be on stage for 45 minutes to an hour throughout the two days.

Alexandria Arts Safari's family-oriented event has joined the festival this year, moving from its usual early October date, according to ACVA. Art demonstrations and hands-on activities will be held throughout the Torpedo Factory Art Center, home to more than 165 artists and 85 working studios, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 10.

For history buffs, Carlyle House, 121 N. Fairfax St., is hosting a "Hands-On History Tent" children's event Sept. 11 from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Children and their families step back into the 18th century to play games, dress up in period costumes and dance, all for free. Tours of the house will remain at $4 for adults and $2 for children.

Other Fall for the Arts events throughout the autumn include:

* Sept. 17-18: 18th Century Fair at Mount Vernon Estate

* Sept. 24: 64th Annual Tour of Historic Homes in Old Town Alexandria

* Oct. 1: 10th Annual Art on the Avenue in Del Ray;

* Oct. 7-9: Mount Vernon's Wine Festival and Sunset Tour

* Oct. 8: Alexandria Seaport Foundation's Seaport Days

* Oct. 22-23: Mount Vernon Estate's Fall Harvest Family Days.