Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Detail photo of painted dresser by Sharon Lee
For the next five days our region is saturated with the arts. The Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts begins today with kids day and continues Thursday through Sunday with the "Official" part of the Arts Festival. Because I am an artist it is always assumed that I participate with this festival. In years past I have as a demonstrator (spinning wool) but generally I join the masses as an observer.
There is a difference in the art that appears in this type of show and the art that I produce. Production art is made with the audience in mind while mine generally is not. Still and all there is plenty of visual stimulus from the hundreds of artist who peddle their wares here. Occasionally I'll run into an artist whose name is familiar from fine art shows.
Of course a festival of this size includes many genres of art. There's theatrical performances, dances, music, fine art shows, chalk drawings on the street both done as part of the official Arts Festival as well as local groups that want to take advantage of the influx of thousands of people into our community which is rather sleepy and slow in the summer without the mass of Penn State students.
Thursday is traditionally the day most local people go to look over and discuss (criticize) the Arts Festival and its sister fair 4 miles away-the People's Choice Festival. I see acquaintances that I haven't seen since last year, buy some kettle corn and duck into one of the bars for an afternoon beer.