The Southwest Missouri Art and Craft Guild produces Art in the Park, a fine art and contemporary craft show and sale, the second weekend in October each year. Celebrating its 22nd year, this year’s show will be held Saturday and Sunday October 8 and 9 in Sequiota Park in Springfield under the sponsorship of The Springfield-Greene County Park Board. Admission is free and open to the public.
Art in the Park is the area's only art fair that takes place in a city park, says Cathy Evans of the Art and Craft Guild. "Every year we look for new ways to make the show stand out among all the other fall events." One thing they're hoping to do is make the show less of "a secret." Cathy told us about a young woman who came up to her booth at the 21st Art in the Park last year--Cathy produces jewelry and thus is a working, exhibiting artist herself. The patron said she was 21 years old, had lived in Springfield her entire life--and yet had never heard about Art in the Park. The Art and Craft Guild is hoping to get the word out more diligently from now on. Cathy is especially proud of all the interest shown in the event by local businesses who have come on-board to help sponsor the show.
Selection for Art in the Park is by jury, based on the artists' quality and originality. And they're "tough," says Cathy Evans, so the standards remain high.
The Art and Craft Guild is an all-volunteer organization, originally started by ceramic artists, says Cathy Evans, but now embracing any and all visual arts. It was "created by artists for artists"--that is, professional artists and crafters who earn their livelihood from their work. This year's Art in the Park will feature 34 artists in more than 25 booths, from Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and as far away as Alabama. Six of this year's artists are either completely new to the show or haven't exhibited here for many years.
There are four two-dimensional artists this year with paintings and drawings, mixed media, pastels, printmaking and photography, as well as fibers and textiles, wood, sculpture and 3-D mixed media, ceramics, both functional and decorative, various kinds of glasswork, and, says Cathy, "more fine jewelry than ever."
In addition to the art and the fall beauty of Sequiota Park, there will be live music, and food provided by B2-Bambino's. Once again this year there will be a "People's Choice" Award, allowing everyone, including youngsters, to choose which artist or work they like best. Cathy Evans says it's a great "eduational opportunity" for kids to learn about the visual arts by voting for their favorite artist. "I always say, the artist who gets the kids' vote usually wins."
Patrons look forward to this fall festival all year to collect the work of their favorite artists, become acquainted with new ones and get a head start on their holiday shopping. Hours are 10:00am to 4:30pm Saturday and Sunday October 8 and 9 at Sequiota Park, 3500 S. Lone Pine about a mile south of Battlefield Road. For information contact Sherry Haney at (417) 848-0854 or visit http://artcraftguild.org or their Facebook page, www.facebook.com/artcraftguild.