The epic Clay County Agricultural Fair is just around the corner for us northeast Florida locals, and to be able to participate in the work that goes into it is another thing artist Philip Bennett Walker can add to his resume.
In the past, Philip was invited to do live paintings during the fair, which takes place in Green Cove Springs during early Spring every year. This opportunity lead to many a funnel cake and fried Oreo snacks, as well as a great relationship with Tasha Hyder, General Manager, and all around boss lady.
An art element that doesn't just involve caricatures is unique to this fair, and wanting to incorporate the work of local and regional artists & charities, Tasha and Philip teamed up to create a brand new art experience.
Sixteen large picnic tables were set aside for various artists and charities to team up and paint. It was Philip's job as project coordinator to hand select artists based on their individual talent, and pair them up with charities involved with the fair.
Philip was assigned two tables to design, paint and execute while his wife, Elizabeth had her own table to get creative with, and I helped them both by assisting with Beau paint brush duty. Their tables were aligned with the charities Hope Therapy, Project Chance, and All Creations Intertribal Native American Community.
As usual, Philip comes up with the design and he and Elizabeth were in communication with each charity as to communicate their philanthropy and discuss image and color scheme.
On day one Philip and the team as well as fellow artist Anthony Rooney (shoutout for the extra hands!) primed each table and prepped our individual ones for the next day. It can never hurt to get a head start, especially with three tables to paint in just one day!
The following day proved how much community there is in the arts, as creator after creator showed up and showed off their skills. It was a gorgeous day in Clay County, and from the scenic drive out there, to painting along to tunes and good vibes, we couldn't have asked for a better outcome!
Philip was able to connect with artists he's known for years, and meet new ones known only before through the web of social media.
He even got to meet a few organizers from the various charities, and in turn they were able to see the hands on work that was being done.
When the Clay County Fair begins on March 31, 2022, the tables will be on display through the last day, April 10, with a QR code with each charities story and a link for donations.