NORMAN — Art lovers can enjoy two days of artist booths, demonstrations and interactive activities during Firehouse Art Center’s 36th Annual Midsummer Nights’ Fair from 6-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
The juried arts festival at Lions Park, 450 S. Flood Ave., highlights local artists and offers arts education experiences, Firehouse Executive Director Douglas Shaw Elder said.
Participating artists are working in a variety of mediums including photography, glass, tie-dye, jewelry, metal, pottery, painting, crafts, woodworking, acrylic, soaps, fiber and more. Artists range from student to professional, giving fair attendees the opportunity to purchase original works at a variety of price points.
A total of 29 artists from across the state and country will sell work during the fair, including 11 Norman artists Mark Andrews, Cliff Brown, Chris Burnett, Mark Doescher, Rick Fry, Dan Harris, Gloria Lamar, Darci Lenker, Juanita Williams, Cecelia Yoder and Debra Van Swearingen. Other Oklahoma artists include Susan Chambers, Connie Christopher, Louanne Duckworth, Amy Foster, Shane Glover, Vernon Hatley, Stasia Long, Donna Love, Dan Nealey, Elaine Nealey, Paul Pfrehm, Dana Spearman Reed, Jim Shelley, Thomas Stotts and Bud Webster. Artists Leanne Pyle and June Whitacre come from Texas, with Lara Holland from Colorado.
Artists will be judged in several categories including Best of Show and first, second and third place positions for both 2-D and 3-D works. Elder said the fair is a highly competitive show for artists, offering cash prizes totaling $900.
In addition to the visual arts, McMichael Music will host two music stages featuring local bands on one stage and McMichael Music Rock Clinic bands on the other.
A large central tent at the fair will host demonstrations by Firehouse faculty, Elder said, including Elyse Bogart creating jewelry, Bill Boetcher carving stone and Craig Swan working on a clay sculpture.
Elder said the tent also will have a model set up for fair guests to try their hand at portrait drawing. Visitors also can participate in foil sculpting and painting “Creative Cubes.”
Children are invited to paint on the Art Wall with assistance from Firehouse faculty, but with only 80 wall positions open each night Elder encourages painters to arrive early. The Firehouse will give out scholarships for Firehouse classes to some of the children painting on the wall.
During the fair, Elder said the Firehouse will advertise all available classes in the next semester as well as accepting enrollments.
The family-friendly event has continued to grow over the years as it has highlighted a variety of community members. Elder said the Firehouse pushed back the fair from July to August this year in an effort to be more inclusive of the needs of the community.
The changed date will hopefully bring cooler, safer temperatures as well as allow more residents returned from summer vacations to attend. While fair attendance numbers usually hover around 3,000, Elder said the Firehouse is hopeful in a few years they’ll see numbers hitting 10,000.
For more information on the fair visit normanfirehouse.com.