Update from the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art on ArtsFest 2016

The Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art (BFSDoArt) has had the pleasure of hosting ArtsFest for Bulloch County residents for more than three decades. Over that same timeframe, the Department’s mission, curricula, programmatic scope, and degree offerings also has grown and changed. Consequently, the Department will not be hosting ArtsFest in April 2016. For nearly 30 years, we have enjoyed bringing the festival to the local community, but it’s time for us to pass the torch. We are actively engaged in conversations with an area arts organization, which is considering their own art-focused, springtime festival, and we are pleased to collaborate with them as they begin this new adventure.

The Department currently is discussing how to expand its current community involvement through potential partnerships with Bulloch County schools that will offer special events and invitations that introduce area students to a “pre-college” visual art and design experience. This unique opportunity also will provide area high school students with an opportunity to shadow our current students, potentially earn college credit, and get acquainted with our program offerings, facilities, and faculty. The Department also will continue fostering its relationship with the Averitt Center for the Arts in Statesboro, where we currently partner to host BFSDoArt student exhibitions, sales like “All Fired Up,” and department-sponsored Averitt student exhibitions.

Robert Farber
Chair, Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art
Georgia Southern University

33rd Annual ArtsFest was a Hit!


The Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art hosted ArtsFest on Saturday, April 11.

The festival, in it’s 33rd year, joins the University and Community together to celebrate the visual and performing arts. Headlining the main stage were musical acts Those Cats, F-Beams of the Music Department, and Pladd Dot Music’s School of Rock.

View photos from ArtsFest ’15 →

Georgia Southern University to Host 33rd Annual ArtsFest April 11

ArtsFest'13 Tie-Dye ArtStop, 2013, Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art, Georgia Southern University

ArtsFest’13 Tie-Dye ArtStop, 2013

Georgia Southern University’s Sweetheart Circle will come alive on Saturday, April 11, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. as thousands of people are expected to visit campus, celebrating visual and performing arts at the 33rd annual ArtsFest.

Hosted by the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art, the free art festival welcomes and encourages the community to become artists for the day. Festival-goers can express their artistic abilities at more than a dozen ArtStops. ArtStops allow participants to explore types, techniques and media of art while learning about various subject matters. Patrons can paint, sculpt, craft a pattern, measure a fish, create paper flowers, tie-dye a commemorative ArtsFest T-shirt, repurpose materials, shoot a painted arrow, pet an instrument and much more – all for free. Guests can also grab something to eat and admire one-of-a-kind artwork made by local artisans in the Artist Market.

“ArtsFest allows our community, young and old, to celebrate the importance of the arts in our everyday lives,” said Stephanie Arends Neal, director of ArtsFest. “Through the arts, we develop lifelong skills such as decision-making, motor skills, collaboration, analytical and critical thinking, inventiveness, self-expression, confidence and cultural awareness. It has been an honor to be a part of ArtsFest and watching it evolve over the years.”

Neal encourages everyone, but especially youngsters, to visit as many ArtStops as possible during the event to get a well-rounded artistic experience. “Art can be delightfully messy, so be sure you wear clothing that can get as colorful as your ArtsFest experience,” she added.

In addition to the ArtStops, attendees can experience the musical talents of headlining acts, Those Cats, F-Beams, and Pladd Dot School of Rock & Roll.

ArtsFest is a nonprofit event made possible by community and University volunteers.

“ArtsFest is made possible because of individuals who have devoted their time and love of the arts to give back to the community and university. Volunteers and ArtStop hosts consist of community members and faculty, staff, students and alumni from Georgia Southern.” said Neal. “The Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art takes pride in giving back to the local community while offering events and services to provide students with valuable professional and leadership experience.”

The Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art is housed in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS). CLASS, the University’s College of the Creative Mind, prepares students to achieve academic excellence, develop their analytical skills, enhance their creativity, and embrace their responsibilities as citizens of their communities, their nations, and the world.

Georgia Southern University, a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers 125 degree programs serving more than 20,500 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement.  Georgia Southern is recognized for its student-centered approach to education. Visit:


Rain or Shine – ArtsFest is Set to Ignite Sweetheart Circle!


On Saturday, April 5, Sweetheart Circle will come alive as nearly 5,000 people gather to celebrate visual and performing art at the 32nd annual ArtsFest. This free festival, hosted by the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art at Georgia Southern University, welcomes the community to become an artist of their own at our ArtStops while enjoying performances, food, and the local Artist Market. Festivities will take place from 11 am until 5 pm. 

“ArtsFest is way more than just an arts festival, it is a wonderful way to meet others in the community while learning to truly appreciate both visual and performing arts!” explains Lauren Mullins, Public Relations Intern for ArtsFest.

This year, ArtsFest invites patrons to watch an igniting display as our headline performers, Balefire, bring the magic of fire dancing from Atlanta. Gather around the community stage and rock out with the rising stars of Pladd Dot Music’s School of Rock and watch the Georgia Southern’s Mischief Makers in their performance of trickery.

Creative juices will be flowing through Sweetheart Circle as festivalgoers create their own artwork at 30 different ArtStops. With more community and organizational involvement this year than ever before, we are thrilled to introduce many new ArtStops alongside our community favorites. ArtStops allow participants to explore types, techniques, and art media while learning about various subject matters not always pertaining to fine art. Patrons can paint, sculpt, measure a fish, fractalize art, create paper flowers, tie-dye an ArtsFest t-shirt, graph sound waves, learn to dance, and much more – all for free! Not to mention, guests can grab some grub and admire one-of-a-kind artwork made by local Artisans in the Artist Market.

“Not only is ArtsFest quite possibly the largest public service event Georgia Southern offers, it provides a platform for our budding performers to build confidence in a social setting and our young artists to exemplify problem solving skills by offering multiple perspectives through creative thinking,” says ArtsFest Director Stephanie Arends Neal.

ArtsFest is a non-profit event made possible by community and student volunteers. The Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art takes prides in giving back to the local community while offering events and services to provide students with valuable professional and leadership experience. ArtsFest’14 is supported in part by Georgia Southern University’s Campus Life Enrichment Committee, Averitt Center for the Arts, Campus Evolution Villages, Pizza Hut, and Wal-Mart.

For a complete list of supporters and festival guide visit ArtsFest at

Announcing 2014 Performances

Sweetheart Circle will be ablaze for ArtsFest’14!

The Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art is proud to announce its ArtsFest’14 performance line-up that will provide festival-goers a cultural experience on Saturday, April 5 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.on Georgia Southern’s Sweetheart Circle!

Featuring Fire & Dance Performers


Bringing the art of fire dancing from Atlanta, Balefire will ignite
Sweetheart Circle with their fire and dance performances.


In addition to Balefire, Georgia Southern students, faculty and staff, and the surrounding community will join together to present a wide variety of free performances suitable for all ages.

ArtsFest Onstage PerformancesJoining Balefire on the main stage, the Southern Saxophones will set the tone with their opening performance. Georgia Southern’s Winterguard will display their colorful flags, Theatre & Performance’s Mischief Maker’s will tell share their stories of trickery and Pladd Dot Music’s School of Rock will rock out playing everything from ACDC and Guns N’ Roses to Cream and Sheryl Crow.

The Community Stage, sponsored by Averitt Center for the Arts, will be featuring the Gail Hursey School of Dance, Statesboro Youth Theater, Statesboro Youth Ballet, Averitt Center for the Arts After Hours, Performance Works Players, Claxton Youth Choral and Averitt Starz.

ArtsFest Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art • Phone: 912.GSU.ARTS • Email: