German Village Gazette

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Arts festival will energize riverfront June 6-8

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More than 280 artists -- 20 from central Ohio -- will converge on the Downtown riverfront for the annual Columbus Arts Festival.

The festival, Friday through Sunday, June 6-8, is expected to draw 400,000 arts enthusiasts from throughout the region.

"We kick off the Downtown festival season," said Jami Goldstein, spokeswoman for the Greater Columbus Arts Council, which puts on the event.

The event is free and open to the public.

Festival hours are 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Artist Market hours are 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

"We have artists in 16 different disciplines," Goldstein said. "It really runs the gamut and there's something for every price range."

The Columbus Arts Festival is a juried competition in each of the 16 disciplines, meaning those artists who apply must submit four images of their work and one shot of their display area, Goldstein said.

The GCAC has beefed up its demonstration area, located on English Plaza just east of COSI.

For example, Devon Palmer, a woodworker, will show people how to carve pens on a wooden lathe. Another artist, Yasuko Jameson, will demonstrate how she makes wearable art accented with Japanese calligraphy.

There are several new attractions at the festival, such as Canstruction, a charity drive where two design groups will make an artistic piece using 60,000 cans of food donated by Kroger.

Throughout the event, spectators can watch as designers build the sculpture. When the festival is over, the cans will be donated to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.

Also new is a stage dedicated to dance on Civic Center Drive near Bicentennial Park.

More than a dozen troupes will perform a variety of dancing, including Middle Eastern and African, ballet, clogging and hip-hop.

For the first time, the GCAC is partnering with the Columbus Film Council, Gateway Film Center and Ohio State University Public Media to screen independent films in a 50-seat theater tent located near COSI on the Scioto Peninsula.

In addition, several chalk artists will compete for about $1,500 worth of prizes by creating individual pieces in 10-by-10-foot spaces on Washington Boulevard.

Food and beverage vendors will be located throughout festival grounds.

Among them are some popular local food trucks, including Sweet Carrot, the Cheesy Truck, Schmidt's Sausage Haus und Restaurant and Mikey's Late Night Slice.

Beer, wine and frozen cocktails also will be served.

"The arts festival is a really great package of festival experiences," Goldstein said.

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