Delaware News

Fest celebrates four decades of art

Delaware Arts Festival should draw thousands next weekend

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Delaware artist Mary Morrison will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Delaware Arts Festival with her 22nd appearance at the show.

For more than two decades, Morrison has showcased her watercolor paintings at Delaware's biggest celebration of the arts.

She specializes in paintings of local buildings and rural Ohio landscapes.

"The arts festival is a great family event," Morrison said. "It always turns out a lot of people. You see tons of kids and dogs. It's just a fun thing to do."

The 2013 Delaware Arts Festival is set for 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 18-19.

Exhibitors will display their work along Winter and Sandusky streets. Admission and parking are free.

The festival also will feature musical entertainment, a silent auction and traditional fair food.

But it's the top-quality art that's the biggest draw, Morrison said.

"It's a juried show and the committee works hard to keep the quality high," she said.

More than 170 artists are set to show their work at the fest this year. Art on display will include paintings, pottery, jewelry, sculpture and metal work.

"Our artists really run the gamut," said Kathy Shipley, media coordinator for the event.

A variety of bands and entertainers will perform on a stage at the intersection of Sandusky and Winter streets throughout both days of the event.

Food vendors will set up shop on Winter Street.

Those who attend can bid on individual pieces by participating artists as part of a silent auction.

A portion of the proceeds from the festival goes toward grants and scholarships for Delaware high school students who plan to study art in college.

The rest of the proceeds are awarded in the form of grants to local art-education programs to buy new materials.

Each year, the festival raises between $70,000 and $100,000, Shipley said.

Student artwork also will be on display during the festival, just down the road at the Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St.

On Saturday, May 18, a special Spirit of the Arts award will be given to Delaware resident Tom King for his contributions as festival organizer for more than a decade.

"We want to honor him for all the great work he's done," Shipley said.

King has a long history as an artist in Delaware. He taught art at Delaware elementary schools for five years and has been involved in the Delaware Arts Festival since its beginning.

He currently is focused on creating dollhouse-scale replicas of antique furniture, and also creates wood carvings and folk paintings.

The Spirit of the Arts award replaces the annual Artist of the Year award this year only, organizers said.

The festival can draw up to 30,000 attendees if the weather is nice, Shipley said.

"We're hoping for a couple of beautiful days," she said.

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