tiny art festival judges

Tiny Art Throwdown Brings a Variety of Artists to G.O.A.T. Festival in Kingsport

The first annual G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time) Festival of Art was a great success, thanks to the hard work of five local non-profits[1] who worked together to bring an excellent array of vendors, activities, and yes—adorable baby goats—to the Farmers Market Pavilion in Downtown Kingsport on April 21-23, 2023.

The event kicked off with a Preview Night, giving ticketholders the opportunity to support the non-profits while enjoying finger food and the music of a string quartet from the Symphony of the Mountains. They also got a preview of the herd of fiberglass goats that will soon be on the move around the city, all of them sponsored by local businesses and individuals and painted by local artists. General admission during the rest of the festival was only $5.00 per day, with all funds going to support the non-profit organizers of the event.

On Saturday, the shoppers began streaming in when the doors opened at 10 AM. There was a lot of fun had by all! Community members helped paint a mural designed by students from the DB Excel Digital Arts program, and the Kingsport Art Guild began its two-day plein air painting demonstrations. Linore Huss of the Inventor Center oversaw a tie-dyeing activity at the back of the pavilion. And to the delight of everyone, there were two very friendly baby goats who shared kisses and snuggles with anyone who wanted to hold them.

Saturday was also the start of Create Appalachia’s Tiny Art Throwdown 2023, a competition allowing local artists of all ages and experience levels to install small art pieces around the downtown area and compete for cash and prizes. Artists worked individually and in teams to put their art in place, and Downtown strollers and shoppers had fun watching the artists do their work. By Saturday evening, the art was all in place and ready for the judges to review on Sunday morning.


The doors to the pavilion didn’t open until noon on Sunday morning, but the Tiny Art Throwdown judges met early to begin their deliberations and choose the winners of the throwdown. WJHL meteorologist Laurel Blanchard joined two well known Kingsport artists, Suzanne Barrett Justis and Joe Zoeller, to make the rounds of downtown and choose the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners. Each judge was also able to give a “Judge’s Choice” award, and the festival goers helped us out with voting on a “People’s Choice” award.

They say that teamwork makes the dream work, and that was certainly true for the brand new G.O.A.T. Festival of Art. There’s general consensus that we should get together and do it again next year—keep your eyes open for more information on this possibility. If we do this again, which seems likely, our members will get word through our newsletter and social media accounts. (Our handle is @createappalachia.) It’s a great opportunity for artists interested in being both vendors and Tiny Art Throwdown participants!

Want to see the Tiny Art Throwdown entries and the list of this year’s winners? Click here!

[1] Create Appalachia was one of five organizations that brought the festival to Kingsport. The other organizers were Engage Kingsport, The Kingsport Office of Cultural Arts, the Kingsport Art Guild, and the Inventor Center.

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