Fort Mill arts festival set to return

mharrison@fortmilltimes.comFebruary 19, 2013 

— After a two-year hiatus, Art on Main is coming back this fall.

Formerly run by a merchants-based group called Move Fort Mill Forward, the fine art and master crafts festival is being revived by the new Fort Mill History Museum. It’s scheduled to kick off with a Friday night gala ahead of a full day, juried festival on Saturday, Oct. 5, along Main Street.

While the S.C. Strawberry Festival, held the first weekend in May, has established itself as the town’s premier event, there’s been a void in downtown Fort Mill during the fall season since the last Art on Main. Until this year, the only annual event on Main Street prior to the Christmas events has been the Halloween eve kids’ costume contest and candy giveaway by downtown merchants.

“We want this to be a new, re-branded event with the focus on our very talented local artists and craftsman,” said Carol Dixon, secretary-treasurer of the festival committee. The committee’s co-chairs are Tamara Osburne and Alexa Spratt, who was a top award winner in the first Art on Main, held in 2006.

“We’ve got a committee that’s top-notch,” Dixon said.

She also singled out Margaret Bell-Niven, the museum’s executive assistant, for creating the festival's new logo.

Just as in the past, downtown business owners will be kept in the loop and have an opportunity to participate in Art on Main, Dixon said.

“We’ll be scheduling a meeting because we want to make sure they are all aware of what we’re doing,” she said.

If anyone wonders how a history museum came to present an arts program, Dixon explains the linkage:

“Since art is such a big part of our culture, and culture is such a big part of our history, we decided that we felt it was very fitting that the Fort Mill History Museum to be the presenter of this year’s Art on Main,” she said.

“This will be our event every year.”

The museum, at 310 North White Street next to Springs Insurance, will be used to showcase children’s’ art that’s entered in the show.

“People will be able to take a walk from downtown over to the Fort Mill History Museum and for people who don’t want to walk, we’ll have some sort of transportation,” Dixon said.

Although not an official Town of Fort Mill event, Dixon said Mayor Danny Funderburk pledged the town’s support.

“It’s a community event and we want it to be the best [Art On Main] ever.”

In addition to fine artists who create paintings and drawings, crafts makers such as wood turners, potters and others are invited to participate. For more information go to,, email, call 802-3646 or find the Fort Mill History Museum on Facebook.

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