HOORAY, fall is here! October is such an exciting time in Downtown Sanford, packed full of awesome events to welcome the cooler months. One of the most unique and anticipated events of the season is Spirits in Sanford, a one day Halloween art show at Jeanine Taylor Folk Art Gallery that draws enthusiasts from all around Florida and beyond. As the lovely gallery manager Mary Shaw told me, the event is perfect for “anyone who loves Halloween and has a devotion to hand made, one of a kind artwork.”
Then make plans to attend Spirits in Sanford on October 10th! Mary was kind enough to give us a little background on this annual event, now in its 7th year:
“It all started in 2008 when the uber-talented Jorge de Rojas visited the gallery and noticed that we had a fondness for one of a kind folk art plus a love of Halloween. Jorge shared photographs of his amazing paper mache creations and we were hooked.”
Inspired by Halloween and Vine, a yearly gathering of artists and collectors in California, gallery owner Jeanine Taylor dreamed up a new event that would make Downtown Sanford, as Mary put it, “the perfect destination for Halloween enthusiasts throughout the Southeast.”
So what can you expect at Spirits in Sanford?
“We do our best to create an atmosphere of spooky delight!” Mary said, and she noted that the gallery will play home to 14 different artists from around the country for this year’s event, each with their own special style of handcrafted Halloween items, from Jorge’s paper mache items, to clay sculptures and jewelry. The team at the gallery has been busy as bees, creating a Halloween-esque landscape of haunted trees, and the visiting artists will provide their own flair that weekend. “Last year, one of the artists created a table top hearse carriage as part of her display. And another year, we had a mad scientists’ laboratory plopped right in the middle of the gallery. The artists really get clever with their displays,” Mary told us.
If you truly want a chance to see all of the art in its creepy glory, as well as get to know the artists, then you won’t want to miss the Champagne Reception Preview Party the night before! Treat yourself to an intimate evening of mingling with the artists surrounded by the full gamut of their art, while sipping on blood orange champagne cocktails.
“The Friday evening party has such a festive vibe, from delectable desserts and a creative appetizer menu to snappy music keeping the party lively,” Mary said. “All of our artists come in costume and some of our guests do as well, so it can be a very entertaining evening.” She added that in past years, some artists have completely sold out of art during the reception because of the high enthusiasm, so we definitely recommend attending the reception to see the complete bevy of artwork!
This is an incredibly unique opportunity for those who love Halloween, but space is very limited, so be sure to reserve your entry by calling the gallery at 407-323-2774, emailing email@example.com or visit in person at 211 E. 1st Street, Sanford, Fl.
One night only: Friday, 10/9, 6-8pm
$20 per person (which includes re-entry to the main event the next day), reservations required
At the main event (Saturday, 10/10, $5 per person), get caught up in the Halloween spirit as the gallery buzzes with collectors and enthusiasts. “Many patrons enjoy getting their picture taken with our costumed character, Sir Jack the Great Pumpkin or posing for a selfie next to the antique hearse that is parked in front of the gallery,” Mary added. “It draws a lot of attention!”
In fact, I stopped in the gallery as Mary was decorating, and I have to say, with the hearse parked out front and the spooky trees scattered throughout the space, the ambiance is already building! While the Spirits in Sanford specific art will only be available during the show, the gallery does have some impressive Halloween items on display right now, including Halloween swag. (Including super cute headbands!)
But for the full effect, you must stop into Jeanine Taylor Folk Art on October 9th and 10th for Spirits in Sanford. It’s truly a very cool weekend to be shopping in Sanford, and it only comes around once a year!
Jeanine Taylor Folk Art Gallery is located at 211 E 1st St. in Downtown Sanford. To attend the Champagne Reception Preview Party, please contact the gallery for reservations: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to Ashley Jane Photography for the professional gallery photos.