The 7th Annual RiverArts Festival Is This Weekend

Posted by Holly Whitfield | October 24th 2013 1038 0

The annual RiverArts Festival brings 180 artists and artisans from all over the country to the South Main Historic Arts District downtown for the three day event. 

Poster art by Annabelle Meacham

The Festival begins on Friday, October 25 at 6 p.m. (it’s also Trolley Tour Night). On Saturday the Festival will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Sunday it’s open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Kids under ten get in for free, it’s $5 for adults to enter, but free for everyone on Friday. There will be lots of live music, food, and other entertainment in addition to the market. You can go here for more information.

I met up with three Memphis-based artists to talk about their work and what they’ll be offering at the Festival's Artist Market. Here's a little bit about them.

Elizabeth Holliday, DeNovo Style

Elizabeth has been sewing and creating since she was young. Her expertise is designing the perfect patterns for dresses, suits, and most famously, coats. (She was actually on I Love Memphis a few years ago and you can read that here.) You can purchase Elizabeth’s coats on Etsy or on her website.

Elizabeth says:

– I always had the idea that I could make whatever I wanted, that anything was possible. I wasn’t afraid.

 – One of my favorite fabrics right now is one I order directly from the mill in Italy. It’s a virgin merino boiled wool, and when you see it you can just tell that it is a really nice fabric.

– The first piece I did continues to be a best seller. It’s based on an image I saw of a 1930s coat, and I spent over a year perfecting the pattern. It looks good on so many body types.

Photo by Ben Colar. Modeling by Cortney Viglietti. 

Photo by Ben Colar. Modeling by Cortney Viglietti. 

Dinah Makowsky, Makowsky Millinery

Dinah is the owner of one of Memphis’ only millineries. Each of her hats is handmade in her shop and trimmed with vintage feathers, buttons, flower, and ribbons from all over the world. You can visit Dinah’s shop in person at 737 North White Station Road or on Etsy.

Dinah says:

“One day I decided to re-trim some old hats, and I was up until two or three in the morning working on them. I caught this bug, and it wouldn't leave me alone.”

“My friends started wanting them, and they would tell people, who would tell other people. I turned one of my downstairs room into a hat shop. Once it took over my upstairs I decided to open the shop, and my business has really grown.”

“I know for sure that [when people say they don’t look good in hats] that they just have not had the right hat on their head. You work with a person’s face shape, height, and build…you want to balance.”

Dinah Makowsky

Judy Vandergrift

Judy is a born-and-raised Memphian who paints landscapes and abstracts in a soft but precise style. She also paints murals and faux finishes for interior walls. Her use of calming, earthy colors appeals to many people, and you can find her work all over Memphis in many shops and galleries or on her website.

“I’ve been an artist my entire life. I used to draw horses as a girl, and I studied art at The University of Memphis. I worked in printing and graphic design, but then I came back to this and people responded to my work.”

“I do a lot of skies and landscapes. I paint from photographs that I take or photographs that I find. I love doing big pieces for people to use in their homes

“After I had been doing the landscapes for a while, I decided to try abstracts. Those designs come straight out of my head.”

Judy Vandergrift

The 7th Annual RiverArts Fest is Friday, Saturday, and Sunday this weekend. You can learn more about it here.


Author: Holly Whitfield

I write about what’s going on with Memphis music, food, arts, events, sports, people, and culture. Memphians love Elvis and barbeque with a passion that must be seen to be believed, but there is so much more to this place.

Show Comments


  1. River Arts Fest AND Trolley Night at the same time! Should be a blast.

  2. Brenda Vance says:

    Always a fun time. Lots of beautiful art and great music.

  3. Graciela (Grace) says:

    I would like to be there, beautiful meeting !.I`m from Argentina.

  4. Tracy J says:

    My Perks is offering buy-one-get-one-free tickets to the River Arts Festival!

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