Festival on Ponce, images provided.

Flowers are blooming and Atlanta’s greenspaces are positively bursting with new life. That can only mean one thing: spring has officially sprung. And with it comes plenty of great outdoor events and festivities that celebrate the arts in Atlanta. 

Beginning this weekend, on Sat., Apr. 1 and Sun., Apr. 2, Olmsted Linear Park is host to the Spring Festival on Ponce. The 2023 lineup includes more than 125 displays of art and handmade goods. Expect to see the works of painters, sculptors, leather and metal crafters, glassblowers, photographers, jewelers, and more. This event will also offer live acoustic music, a children’s play area, food trucks, adult beverages, and a DJ all within the beautiful surrounds of Olmsted Linear Park. Free and open to the public. 

Olmsted Plein Air Invitational

For the 9th year in a row the Olmsted Plein Air Invitational will bring 30 plein air painters from across the country to the historic 45-acre greenspace that runs alongside Ponce de Leon Avenue. The weeklong 2023 Olmsted Gallery at the Druid Hills Golf Club will be open to the public with a collection of 150 artworks that will be added to throughout the week until it reaches approximately 350+ paintings. The Olmsted Gallery exhibition will run from Sat., Apr. 15 through Sun., Apr. 23 and is located at 740 Clifton Rd. NE. 

Olmsted Plein Air painting, provided.

Additional events include a ticketed Meet the Artist Welcome Party on Tues., Apr. 18 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at the Druid Hills Golf Club Terrace. Paintings created in the previous days will be available for sale and patrons will have the opportunity to meet and speak with the participating plein air painters. 

The 33-acre grounds of the Atlanta History Center will host Olmsted Artists Paint on Wed., Apr. 19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. World-class plein air painters will be set up in various areas of the gardens and grounds of Goizeuta Garden and visitors can take a self-guided tour to see artists at work. Admission to the Atlanta History Center is required. 

On Thurs., Apr. 20 Dellwood Meadow in Olmsted Linear Park will host a Pop Up Prosecco in the Park & Petite Gallery Stroll. This event will present the first opportunity for purchase of these petite plein air paintings and a portion of the sales will benefit Olmsted Linear Park. 

The Early Preview Awards & Collectors Soirée on Sat., Apr. 22 and Sun., Apr. 23 offers an opportunity for 2023 Friends, 2023 Awards Sponsors, and 2023 Sponsors of Olmsted Arts to get early access to purchase paintings. 

An Artists Awards & Collectors Soirée on Sat., Apr. 22 from 7-9 p.m. will be the first opportunity to view works from the entire competition at once. Participating artists will select three of their best paintings created during the weeklong event to exhibit and compete for thousands of dollars in prizes. The event promises to be busy, estimating that one painting will be sold every 45 seconds within those two hours. 

The PaintQuick Competition on Sun., Apr. 23 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. is welcoming all artists to participate in a fun competition to create works. After the PaintQuick active painting session, judges will hand out awards to the best works from the day. Registration is $25 for participating artists, but attending this event is free and open to the public.

Finally, on Sun., Apr. 23 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. the Druid Hills Golf Club Ballroom will host the Olmsted Plein Air Gallery Exhibition and Sale where the public is invited to view and purchase paintings from the competition as well as all 300+ original works. Artists will be in the Exhibition Gallery painting floral arrangements, figures, and more. At 2:30 p.m. judges will present a panel of paintings and recognize winning artists. At 4:55, just before the event ends at 5 p.m. there will be a champagne toast to celebrate another great festival in the books.

Learn more at the Festival on Ponce website and the Olmsted Plein Air Invitational website.

Isadora Pennington is a freelance writer and photographer based in Atlanta. She is the editor of Sketchbook by Rough Draft, a weekly Arts newsletter.