Two days of fun, community and beauty.

The SF Teaching Zoo, located on the Northwest Campus, is open during the festival so families can plan a dual destination for a fun filled Gainesville weekend. Enjoy the arts at the festival and then catch the Party for the Planet at the zoo in honor of Earth Day.

Visit the SF Teaching Zoo website →

For over forty years, the Fine Arts Department at Santa Fe College has built its programs regionally, nationally and internationally. Students at Santa Fe have access to the best instruction, with the opportunity to perform in public performances & exhibits.

Visit the SF Fine Arts website →

Santa Fe College Spring Arts Festival Delights Visitors

April 5, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. with evening concert on the lawn of the Thomas Center

Set amid picturesque turn-of-the-century homes in the Northeast Gainesville Historic District, the 45th annual Santa Fe College Spring Arts Festival on Sat.-Sun., April 5-6, offers fun and inspiration for the whole family, including the work of fine artists from throughout the country; the Art Jungle where children can create art; an area where young people can sell their artwork; dancers and musicians performing on two stages; a variety of food concessions; and a Saturday evening concert.

“Santa Fe College has been the primary sponsor of the Spring Arts Festival since the festival began,” explained Cultural Affairs Coordinator Kathryn Lehman, who organizes the event. “Back in 1969, faculty and staff realized there was no fine arts festival in Florida north of Winter Park, so they created Spring Arts. That first year, anyone with a table and anything that could possibly be called art could sell their work.”

Over the years, the festival evolved into what is now an iconic community event—Lehman calls it “Gainesville’s Easter parade”—with artists from all over the country competing for entry and the chance to win a share of over $20,000 in prizes.

Each year, one artist is selected to create the image that appears on the festival’s poster and souvenirs such as t-shirts and tote bags. This year’s poster artist is Jacquelyn Schindehette, a painter who specializes in Florida landscapes. Over the years, festival posters have become collectors’ items.

Walking through the festival is a delight for the senses. Vivid paintings, drawings and mixed media graphics are arrayed among colorful textile, leather and glass arts. Metal, ceramic and wooden sculptures crouch and soar. Textured pottery vessels beg to be touched. Jewelry glitters and gleams. Color and black-and-white photographs reveal the magic of captured light. Music wafts from nearby stages and the aromas of barbecue, corn on the cob and strawberry shortcake whet the appetite.

“Each year brings new artists, new discoveries and new inspirations,” Lehman explained. “Santa Fe Spring Arts is a chance for people to experience and be inspired by high-quality fine art pieces and by the artists who create them. Because the festival has a significant positive economic impact on the community, it demonstrates how the arts are an economic asset and an indicator of community vibrancy.”

The Spring Arts Festival is organized and supported by Santa Fe College and the Santa Fe College Foundation. The festival is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture and Visit Gainesville, a Tourist Development Tax Grant from the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners in conjunction with the Alachua County Tourist Development Council; the Village Retirement Community; Pomodoro Café; the festival’s Purchase Award sponsors; and the Santa Fe Fine Arts Patrons.



The Enticement and Welcome Portal for Alachua County!

2013 Artist Awards

Best of Show 2-D
John Margerum Graphics Oviedo, FL #518

Best of Show 3-D
Phil Parker 3-D Mixed Flagler Beach, FL #511

Awards of Excellence 2-D
Richard Auger Photography Summerfield, FL #318
Ummarid Eitharong Mixed Media Orlando, FL #537

Awards of Excellence 3-D
David Figueroa Sculpture Sanford, FL #523
Katherine Mathison Ceramics Ocoee, FL #255

Awards of Distinction 2-D
David Hunter Graphics Winter Park, FL #525
Eleanor Blair Painting Gainesville, FL #328

Awards of Distinction 3-D
Maria Cano Jewelry Lake Worth, FL #232
Jitka Leskova-Manousakis Fiber Tallahassee, FL #223

Awards of Merit 2-D
Carol Elder Napoli Painting New Smyrna Beach, FL #442
Jay Canturbury Photography Holmes Beach, FL #465
David Gordon Painting Greenfield Center, NY #249

Awards of Merit 3-D
Jean Yao Fiber Ft. Lauderdale #462
Bill and Jon Slade Glass Jacksonville, FL #530
Kristin Holeman Jewelry Ft. Lauderdale, FL #450

Art Cop Award
Jim Wilshire Watercolor Roswell, GA #410

Come for the Art, Stay for the Concert


Multi-instrumentalist and musical innovator Leyla McCalla and her trio will perform a 90-minute set at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 5, 2014, on the Santa Fe College Spring Arts Festival Garden Stage on the grounds of the Thomas Center. The concert is free and open to the public.

McCalla appears with the Carolina Chocolate Drops, an African-American string band, on their Grammy-nominated album, “Leaving Eden.” She has just released her debut album, “Vari-Colored Songs: A Tribute to Langston Hughes.”

“The sound of Leyla McCalla and her trio is an incredible blend of world music and Americana,” said Cultural Affairs Coordinator Kathryn Lehman. “Her music appeals across genres and age groups and we are thrilled to bring her to Gainesville.”
A singer who plays the cello as well as guitar and banjo, McCalla draws inspiration from her Haitian heritage and the culture of New Orleans, her adopted home. After studying cello performance and chamber music at New York University, she moved to New Orleans “armed with Bach’s Cello Suites” to play on the streets of the French Quarter.

“New Orleans always felt like home to me,” McCalla explains. “The more I learned about the history of Louisiana, its ties to Haiti and French speaking culture, the more sense of belonging I felt and continue to feel.”

It was in New Orleans that McCalla caught the attention of Tim Duffy, founder and director of the Music Maker Relief Foundation and manager of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, a group that encourages awareness of the multi-racial roots of American folk music. After she appeared on the Drops’ second album, Duffy encouraged McCalla to pursue her own heartfelt project—an album of songs based on the poems of Langston Hughes.

Writing in “Pitchfork,” Marc Masters and Grayson Haver Currin describe “Vari-Colored Songs” as “stunning,” setting “Hughes’ poems, traditional Haitian numbers sung in Creole and a handful of yearning originals to the pizzicato warmth of McCalla’s cello. Her playing…suggests a perpetual spring, giving these songs about losing innocence and finding death a vibrancy that fits their folk music function. Her voice is a velvety purr that’s both wise and bright.” The New York Times describes McCalla’s music as “magnificently transparent…weighty thoughts handled with the lightest touch imaginable.”

For more information about McCalla, visit her website at

The 45th Annual Santa Fe College Spring Arts Festival

The 45th Santa Fe College Spring Arts Festival will transform historic NE 1st Street and the lawn of the Thomas Center in downtown Gainesville into a cultural destination. Admission is free to the festival which runs 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Saturday, April 5 and noon-5:30 p.m. Sunday, April 6 rain or shine.

In describing plans for Spring Arts 2014, festival coordinator Kathryn Lehman said “Lots of wonderful artists are coming to Gainesville to fill NE 1st Street with original art. And this year the festival is going international with a free evening of jazz on the Thomas Center lawn 5-8:30 p.m. Saturday, April 5.”

The 2014 Spring Arts Festival poster artist is: Jacquelyn Schindehette.

Lehman said she expects more than 100,000 visitors to SF Spring Arts, the longest running arts festival in North Central Florida. Spring Arts was voted Florida’s best arts and crafts festival by readers of Florida Monthly magazine and has been recognized as one of the top 20 events by the Southeast Tourism Society.

The festival is family friendly with free children’s activities, continuous entertainment on two stages, and international food.

SF College Launches New Campaign To “Foster Inspiration/Empower Imagination”

The Santa Fe College Foundation and Fine Arts Department are partnering to launch “Foster Inspiration/Empower Imagination,” a campaign to strengthen community support of the college’s visual art, dance, music, and theatre programs—including the iconic SF College Spring Arts Festival—by growing the SF Arts Patron Program.

“We chose ‘Foster Inspiration/Empower Imagination’ as the theme for this new campaign because that’s exactly what we want to do for our students and our community,” explained Cultural Programs Coordinator Kathryn Lehman. “We want to build on the first year’s success of the Master Artists Series and we want to lift support for all of our arts programs to the next level.”

The Santa Fe Arts Patrons provide essential support for the Master Artists Series, other student activities within the Fine Arts Department, the Fine Arts Hall, and cultural activities such as the SF Spring Arts Festival that are organized by the Santa Fe College Foundation. Patrons can choose the amounts they want to contribute from seven giving levels; they can also choose to become Purchase Award Sponsors at the Spring Arts Festival.

New in the 2013-2014 academic year, the SF College Master Artists Series has brought professional artists and performers to campus to teach master classes and to give informal talks that include question-and-answer sessions with students. Master Artists have included actress Judith Chapman, visual artists Lance Turner and Margaret Ross Tolbert, Leo Kottke, and the Joffrey Dance Group.

Santa Fe College is well known for its strong Fine Arts programs that give students the foundations they need to pursue successful full-time careers in dance, music, theatre and the visual arts. According to Fine Arts Department Chairperson Alora Haynes, the Master Artists Series is an integral part of the student experience.

“An education in the arts exists to spark a person’s imagination or ignite a lifetime of passion,” Haynes explained. “The arts enhance everyone’s learning process and having access to an accomplished artist should be a part of every interested student’s world of possibility. If students cannot make it to Los Angeles, then why not bring L.A. to them?”

Patron categories include Annual Memberships at the $100, $250, $500 and $1000 levels as well as Lifetime Memberships at levels of $2,500, $5000-$10,000, and $10,000 and above. Lifetime Memberships may be paid in installments over three years. Each patron category comes with exclusive benefits such as tickets to Master Artists Series performances and Spring Arts House privileges during the SF College Spring Arts Festival. See the attached brochure for details.

The SF College Spring Arts Festival is Gainesville’s annual rite of spring. Lehman describes the festival, which is held downtown in a historic district and on the grounds of the Thomas Center, as “Gainesville’s Easter Parade.” With over 200 fine artists selling their work, nonprofit organizations, the festival is a feast for all the senses.

“The strength of the fine arts is a good measure of community vibrancy, and we’re fortunate here in Gainesville to have a thriving arts scene that includes the SF College Spring Arts Festival,” Lehman explained. “If you love the festival and what it brings to our community—including some great economic benefits—and if you know you are going to make a purchase, becoming a Purchase Award Sponsor is an easy way to give back and offer your support without any additional cost to you.”

Purchase Award Sponsors make a pledge of at least $200, then pay the amount they have pledged to the SF College Foundation. Contributions are transferred into Purchase Awards that are redeemed at the Festival. Patrons who pledge more than $700 will receive a framed SF Spring Arts Festival poster.

To become a Purchase Award sponsor, call Kathryn Lehman at 352-395-5355 or email

Poster Unveiling

The 2014 Poster will be unveiled on Monday, March 17th, at 2:30 p.m. in the President’s Lobby, Robertson Administration Building, Santa Fe College. Posters will be available for purchase at the unveiling. The 2014 poster artist is Jacquelyn Schindehette.

After the unveiling, posters will be available for purchase at the Spring Arts Festival and online. Watch for more news!

Important Notice

Please be advised that filming/taping will take place during the 2014 Spring Arts Festival. People entering the festival may appear in the picture. By entering the festival, you grant Santa Fe College or Santa Fe College Foundation the right to film or photograph you and record your voice and to use your voice or likeness without compensation, in connection with the picture and the distribution and exploitation thereof, and you release Santa Fe College or Santa Fe College Foundation and its licensees from all liability in connection therein. You agree and understand that Santa Fe College and Santa Fe College Foundation will proceed in reliance upon such grant and release. Santa Fe College and Santa Fe College Foundation does not assume responsibility for any injury to your person or damage or loss to your property. The use of camera or recording equipment is prohibited due to copyright regulations.



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