Upper Arlington News

Labor Day

Arts festival returning to Northam Park on Sept. 1

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Some 200 artists working in 16 different mediums, plus interactive activities and live music, will be among the highlights of the upcoming Upper Arlington Labor Day Arts Festival.

The 48th installment of the Upper Arlington Labor Day Arts Festival will return to Northam Park from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 1.

As has been the case since 1983, the festival is hosted by the city of Upper Arlington, and it has picked up a $10,000 presenting sponsorship from local resident and arts enthusiast David D. Dygert.

Roughly 20,000 people are expected to attend, making the festival a signature event for the city.

The Labor Day Arts Festival takes 11 months of planning and coordination among 13 city departments, with help from approximately 250 volunteers and a 15-member organizing committee.

Upper Arlington Cultural Arts Manager Lynette Santoro-Au said the hard work is worth it, as the festival promotes the arts and more than $10,000 worth of artwork is sold each year.

She noted that staff members walk 10 miles setting up and running the event and artists consume 18 dozen bagels and doughnuts the morning of the festival.

This year's festival will feature paintings, mixed media, ceramics, sculpture, jewelry, photography, leatherwork, printmaking and other works of art, as well as emerging techniques and cutting-edge exhibits designed to allow guests to attempt their own creations.

"A large community event like the annual arts festival helps us fulfill our mission of fostering and encouraging the development of the arts in our community and the preservation of the community's cultural heritage," Santoro-Au said. "Our festival is one of only 71 one-day-events across the country.

"Sunshine Artist Magazine, a leading publication in the festival industry, has identified our event as one of 14 contenders in 2014."

In addition to entries from professional artists from throughout the country, this year's festival will include food vendors, interactive art exhibits and two stages of live music.

A grass mural, which was introduced last year, also will be back.

"This year's grass mural is 'Picture Yourself in the Arts,' an interactive photo booth for patrons to use our props to take 'selfies' and post them, picturing themselves in the arts," Santoro-Au said. "There are a great variety of ways to participate, from discovering a new artist or band to creating alongside a local artist in our interactive arts activities area."

Santoro-Au added that "yarn bombing," a type of graffiti or street art frequently made from knitted or crocheted yarn, will be added to the festival's center path this year.

In addition to a variety of musical performers, including a 3:30 p.m. show by JD Eicher and The Goodnights, the Arts Activities Stage at 3 p.m. will host a sneak peek of Fashion Rocks UA!, a red carpet fashion show that will be held Sept. 20 at the Upper Arlington Municipal Services Center.

"Fashion Rocks UA! models are featured in a mini showcase of fashion from Faze Boutique on Lane Avenue, a local boutique; and swimsuits from Solar Swimwear, were featured at Miami Swimsuit fashion week," Santoro-Au said. "Sixteen models and a few local personalities as well, will be featured."

Admission to the Upper Arlington Labor Day Arts Festival, presented by David D. Dygert, is free, as is a Columbus Coach shuttle that will transport visitors from Chase Bank in the Kingsdale Center to Northam Park. Valet bicycle parking also will be offered at the Kingsdale Center by Pedal Instead, and handicap parking will be available in the Tremont Shopping Center.

Additional information about the festival is available at uaoh.net.

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