KNOXVILLE —The 2020 Dogwood Arts Festival is going virtual after the decision was made to postpone the public event originally scheduled for April 24-26th in Downtown Knoxville due to the spread of COVID-19. The virtual festival launched today at festival.dogwoodarts.com and will showcase 109 artists from around the country who were juried in to participate this year. The Dogwood Arts Festival has been a sentinel event for the organization, showcasing a diverse array of fine art since 1961 and 2020 was set to continue the fine tradition. Even though we can’t be together in our usual fashion this year, we hope that Knoxville will log on and get to know these amazing artists who work in a variety of mediums from painting to pottery, jewelry to glass, and everything in between.

“The Virtual Dogwood Arts Festival is a new way for us to offer support to the artists who were scheduled to be part of the 2020 event by presenting their work and their online presence to our community,” says Sherry Jenkins, Executive Director of Dogwood Arts. “Artists depend on festivals like ours to generate income, increase exposure for their businesses and network with clients and peers; we hope this effort will help each of them grow their list of followers and potentially sell some of the work they have worked so hard to create and would have sold at our event.”

One of the local artists who was scheduled to participate in the festival, Paris Woodhull, remarked “I'm going to guess that the businesses that survive this are the ones that take it as a challenge. A chance to rework what they're making/creating/offering and put a spin on it that contributes to people's lives in a fresh and needed way.”

The platform allows visitors to easily browse and support the artists who put so much time, energy, and talent into making the Dogwood Arts Festival such a celebrated event each year. The site is organized by medium (two-dimensional, three-dimensional, jewelry/apparel, and natural products) and listings link to the artist’s personal website where artwork can be purchased directly from the source online. The public can also vote on their favorite artists via a form on the website now through April 30th, and cash prizes will be awarded to the three artists who garner the most votes.

Dogwood Arts is aware of the enormous impact COVID-19 will have on the infrastructure and economy of Downtown Knoxville and our creative community; however, the health and safety of festival attendees, staff, vendors, and artists are of utmost importance. Festival organizers are looking at alternative dates and opportunities for rescheduling several signature spring events (Chalk Walk, Dogwood Arts Festival, Featured Gardens, etc.) in late summer/fall. More details will be released as they become available.