View All Posts

Mar 24

Appreciating the Arts

Posted on March 24, 2017 at 9:39 AM by Cambria Jones

From the public art you’ll find around town to the enchanting exhibits featured in Blue House Too gallery, a visit with us means art all year round. With the weather getting warmer, we thought this would be the perfect time to go behind the scenes of one of our favorite springtime events, the Allen Arts Festival.

We sat down with Kathy Litinas, Board President for the Allen Arts Alliance, who has been involved with the Allen Arts Festival from the beginning, to help us paint the picture for you. We began with a bit of history. Let’s just say the conversation was colored with smiles as Kathy reminisced about the first Allen Arts Festival back in 2009.

“We begged 18 local artists to join us that first year,” Kathy laughed. “I have to give a shout out to Marie Renfro. She’s one of the most established well-known artists in the community of Allen and she does not show at arts festivals.  Yet she grabbed another artist, brought their artwork, came out and spent the weekend with us that first year. That really helped kick it off.” (By the way, you can see Marie Renfro’s work in her ‘Then and Now’ exhibit at Blue House Too gallery now through April 16).

From 18 artists in 2009 to more than 90 artists registered this year, the Allen Arts Festival continues to grow and has become a much anticipated and well attended event for artists and visitors alike.

“The festival attracts artists from across the country, representing all mediums of the visual arts. They love coming here every year and they find a lot of success here, which is good,” said Kathy.

There’s a lot to love for the visitors as well, especially with it being held at Watters Creek at Montgomery Farm. “It’s a great convergence of arts, commerce and dining,” as Kathy described.

“People like to come to Watters Creek. We’ve got wonderful stores and great restaurants. You can stop and enjoy a craft beer or a great coffee. There’s all kind of dining experiences in all price ranges for our visitors.”

The 2017 Allen Arts Festival will be May 12-14 (yep, that’s Mother’s Day weekend). Talk about scoring extra brownie points with mom and you don’t even have to worry about finding a gift beforehand. You can let her pick out her own masterpiece at the festival.

In addition to the art, there will be activities for the little ones, dance performances and live musical guests throughout the weekend. From the Main Stage on the Green to musical vignettes around the festival, you’ll hear the sounds of The Fox & The Bird, The Bodarks, Teddy Davey Ensemble and many more.

We hope this paints a pretty good picture of what you can expect, but we hope you’ll join us and experience the Allen Arts Festival yourself!

For more information about the 2017 Allen Arts Festival, visit