Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival featured artist, Elisabeth Hays, captures essence of Fairhope’s floral splendor

Each year, the Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival Foundation selects a local artist to create a work of art that represents the festival theme. The 2024 featured artist is Elisabeth Hays.

Hays was born and raised in Fairhope and graduated from Fairhope High School. She began her artistic pursuits early in life, taking every art class and attending art camps, according to her own account. Her art studies continued at Auburn University.

After graduating from college, Hays returned to Fairhope and opened Lulu & Me Design Boutique specializing in fabrics and interior design. In 2018, she sold the business so she could focus on her art and her small children.

The theme for the 2024 Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival is “Fairhope In Bloom,” and when Hays learned the theme, images immediately popped into her mind.

“I immediately thought of the tulips around town,” Hays said. “Growing up we took pictures in the tulip beds. I’ve got pictures of my kids. It is such a staple every spring so that’s immediately what came to my head.”

As a Fairhope local who grew up attending the festival every year, Hays said she was excited to get the call.

“I grew up going to Arts and Crafts. It’s such an important part of the city and our artistic culture that we have,” she said. “We’re just really lucky to have such a big annual festival here and so many people from all over the southeast that look forward to it every year.”

Being selected as the featured artist adds a whole new level of exposure for an artist. An estimated 300,000 visitors will see Hays’ art on every poster, festival guide and more. Hays said it’s a thrill anytime her work gets published.

“Anytime your work gets published it’s a huge thrill and so gratifying,” she said. “To know that it’s out there for so many to see and recognize is a huge compliment. I’m really excited about it.”

Limited edition signed prints of Elisabeth Hays’ “Fairhope In Bloom” will be available at the Festival Merchandise Booth on Johnson Avenue. Additional merchandise available includes T-shirts, hats and more.

To learn more about Elisabeth Hays and her art, visit www.elisabethhays.com.

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