It’s spring in Norman, and for the past 35 years the Assistance League of Norman has celebrated the new season by hosting their annual May Fair Arts Festival. This year is no different.

The festival kicks off 10 a.m. Friday and runs through 8 p.m. The schedule is the same for Saturday. Sunday’s hours are shortened to 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Jeri Saliba, public relations chairwoman for the event, said the Assistance League is expecting to see about 40,000 people at Andrew’s Park.

Saliba credits the high attendance to the festival’s atmosphere, which she describes as comfortable for both art connoisseurs and beginning collectors alike.

“It’s not intimidating,” she said.

More than 70 artists and craftsmen are slated to show work at the festival. Edmond artist Rory Morgan is 2010’s celebrated artist. The public is invited to meet Morgan and see him work during the “Meet the Artist” sessions, 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Morgan has been showing his work during similar festivals and shows for 35 years. His subject of choice is landscape, particularly Oklahoma scenes with red bud trees and bluebonnets. Capturing nature as it appears is important to Morgan.

“I do realism, not abstract,” Morgan said.

All 70 artists will be juried and monetary awards will be given to the winners.

The Student Art Show, open to those in kindergarten through 12th grade, also will be juried. Winners will get savings bonds from the First Bank and Trust.

Children also can get in on hands-on-art in the Children’s Art Yard, where rope-making, kite-making and plant plotting will be available. Assistance League also has brought back “Adventures in Art” sessions on Saturday, where children learn about various types of art.

“That’s an opportunity for the artists that are actually shown in the festival to show their medium to the kids,” Saliba said.

This year children will be able to embellish a 30 foot dragon canvas during the “Adventure in Art” sessions, held in the north pavilion.

With last year’s event going so successfully, the Assistance League has decided to continue with a Family Fun Night 7 p.m. Friday. This year the group will show “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” on the Amphitheatre Stage.

Various local talent and student showcases also will take place on the Amphitheatre Stage throughout the weekend.

Despite all that is goµing on, Saliba said the event isn’t really a money-maker for the organization.

“It’s basically our gift to the city of Norman,” she said.

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