Friday, September 7, 2007

Art Festival Roundup

The visual arts part of the festival has come and gone. Last weekend was a huge success for all involved. Congratulations to all the organizers, artists, gallery owners, sponsors, and volunteers.

I just wanted to do a quick weekend round up as I promised. Don't miss this weekend's Art festival offerings which will be geared towards theatre , dance, writing, and music.

First off, the Art Festival in the Town Center seems to get better and better. All the booths were good and filled with excited and knowledgeable artists ready to chat. Several of the booths stood out in my mind. I have to say again that Ben Strawn is my hero - basically selling out his booth, almost immediately. His work is fantastic, and his set up was lovely- I wish him nothing but more success and prosperity, his work is phenomenal.

Other booths that really caught my eye - Cindy Arsaga with her beautiful encaustic paintings - some pieces had such deep rich colors, her work gave me a sense that autumn is indeed coming. I am loving the colored circles that are now floating on the surface of her work, it is a pleasing design element. Speaking of encaustic work, James Kunzelmann's work was also great, and I overheard the artist telling people about the encaustic process as well, which is always helpful. People love information about the different art forms, and mediums. I am particularly fond of his gold fish paintings. I love how the fish fill the square in the middle of the piece and then are usually "framed" out by a lovely color. The texture is always nice in his pieces as well. Don House, is always a hometown favorite, the work he exhibited this year made with a 35mm range finder camera, and printed with the full frame negative seemed filled with a new energy and excitement. I really enjoyed his work. Don Nibert's pottery was glorious and the bases of found metal that he puts together are a beautiful way to present his work. Trent Tally's work is always incredible, and I hope he remains a staple of the festival. Haley Duke provided some freshness, funk, and kick to this year's festival. I think people really enjoyed her booth and the pure creative force she brings with her. Keith Miller was another kick to the festival with his large scale mysterious drawings, I am glad that he did well at the festival as well as winning an award for best 2 -D. I had to go back a couple of different times to the Art Festival to take it all in, and I think that is what is nice about offering the festival on two days, so you don't have to absorb it all in one day. I look forward to seeing next year's festival offerings...

The mill district offerings were a nice selection of whimsy, handmade goods, high art, and music and fun. It was getting hot by the time I made my way there, but I think the people who ventured out to see the artists were richly rewarded. Stand outs for me there were Doug Randall's beautiful paintings, and Tonya Tubbs magnet dolls. It was my first time to go into the Little Mountain Bindery/The New design studio and that was a treat- all the lovely papers on display and sale. I wish them all much success, as they do provide much needed supplies, and classes. Then it was on to the Art Experience where JoAnn Kaminsky's work was on display.
That was a nice respite, to sink down in a couch and just be calm and surrounded by all JoAnn's puppets, masks, and other art work. The Art Experience is a very comfortable place to be.
Then we moved on down the road to Hank Kaminsky's large studio, and talked with him about his new work, and his process. If you have never seen his studio or really talked with him about the process involved in his work, I highly recommend it. I appreciate his work in a whole new way now, and am amazed at his talent and dedication to his art.

I also enjoyed checking in with the DDP gallery, to see if the crowds were making their way to the gallery as well. We had some steady traffic on Saturday and not quite as much on Sunday, but we had many people to talk with about mine and Helen Phillips' work, so that was a thrill.
The exhibit will be up until Sept 29, so be sure not to miss it and tell your friends...

Saturday night was all about the third installment of Art Market. It was in the Parrish hall of the St. Paul's Church, the location was great, just a quick walk down the street from the DDP gallery/square and we were there. I wasn't sure how they would be able to turn the huge space into a gallery, but they did it. They had designed freestanding walls with lights on top that were beautifully constructed and added a nice architectural element to the space. All the artists had plenty of space to show their work, and no one got a bad spot, so that was impressive.
The selection of work was good, several works stood out to me, I loved Justin Bondi's aluminum sculpture, and they way it was presented was perfect. Matthew Lyman's alphabet series was a huge hit, with its smart design sense and color scheme. He paints the letters of the alphabet on the backs of old books and other common objects, with an illustration to go along with the letter.
Beth Post's paintings also stood out, as they were impeccably painted, with arms and legs of the subject hanging out of the frame while painted birds flew around causing distress for the subject.
Art Market seemed to be as successful as ever, I will be interested to see where the next show will be held and what talent will be called up for the next installment. It is a great idea, and I look forward to many more Art Market events.

So that does it. Again congratulations to everyone who participated, organized, volunteered, and sponsored these art events. It was a successful weekend. Here's to many more successful events, shows, galleries, and opportunities for artists. Imagine if we had events like this all the time...

See " Within Your Reach " pictured above, by Megan Chapman at the DDP gallery
located at 7 East Mountain St. Fayetteville.
Open: W-F 12-7 and Sat. 10-5 and by appointment,

"Intuition" Works by Megan Chapman and Helen Phillips
August 15- September 29 2007

1 comment:

  1. It's nice being reminded how lucky we are in NW Arkansas to have so many incredible artists in our midst. And such range...

    One small quibble - the panel's decision not to include nudity in the pieces at the town center on the grounds that it was a "family event." I agree that maybe there didn't need to be highly violent or sexual images shown...but I like to think we're progressive enough to understand that nudity doesn't equal sexual, right? I guess we still ARE in the puritanical South...sigh.

    On another note...(I wondered this at your show too)...did you get the title of this painting from The Replacements song? It's one of my favorite songs and very different-sounding from most of their other stuff.