The 48th Delaware Arts Festival made everyone’s day: exhibitors, visitors and festival committee members.
Exhibitors displayed original art work in the 174 white tents that stretched down the middle of Sandusky Street from William Street to Central Avenue; continuing on East and West Winter Street. Vendor Kim Lawson in booth No. 10 said, “I appreciate how hard everyone works behind the scenes to make this show so special! We as vendors have no idea just how much hard work goes into putting a show together! My sales were great as always.”
Art comes in many forms, and visitors found it both festival days. Puppets in the likeness of hot pink dragons, lime green dogs and bears. Woodworkers creating tables, chairs, owls and wagons. Pottery cups with snakes for handles and unique faces. Laughing children with faces painted as tigers, Spiderman, Batman, butterflies and exotic flowers.
At lunch time, hungry patrons enjoyed a variety of eats from food trucks and local restaurants. Hot dogs, brats and chips were on the Delaware Kiwanis menu.
“We’re glad to be here as one of the food vendors,” said Sharon O’Neil.
“It was a great day to be in (downtown) Delaware with all the talented artists, entertainment areas, and good food options,” said Marsha North of central Ohio.
The yearly $20,000 art scholarship awarded to three Delaware County High School seniors is what motivates the festival committee.
First place went to Cate Crowell of Olentangy Liberty High School. According to her personal statement, clay is her medium of choice, with animals being her inspiration. Crowell is attending the University of Alaska Anchorage.
Second place went to Chase Wahlund, also of Olentangy Liberty High School. In her personal statement, Wahlund, a painter, said she paints in acrylics but also enjoys exploring mixed media when creating. Wahlund is attending Savannah College of Art and Design.
Third place was awarded to Elizabeth Weinberger of Olentangy Orange High School. In her personal statement, Weinberger said her medium is digital 3D because creating it allows one to address problems in unconventional ways. Weinberger is attending The College for Creative Studies in Detroit.
The scholarship awards took place on Saturday, May 20. Presenting the awards was Delaware County Probate/Juvenile Judge David Hejmanowski.
“It’s a pleasure to be a part of this event every year and see these incredible talented kids,” he said. The three scholarship recipients’ art works are on display at the Delaware County District Library during the month of June.
The Delaware Arts Festival is a juried art show awarding ribbons to four artists. Two judges with art backgrounds and educations determine the winners.
Best of Show went to William Shearrow, of Shearrow Tile & Pottery, in Canton, Ohio. A Columbus College of Art and Design graduate, he’s enjoyed working with clay since 1979 and is inspired by his garden and nature. He learned the basics at CCAD, but over time, Shearrow has developed his own techniques, acquiring honors along the way.
According to his website, Shearrow received the Award of Excellence in Ceramics 2012-2013 Best of Ohio Exhibits and is a member of the Roycroft Artisans. He passes on his expertise by teaching classes at Canton Museum of Art.
First Place went to Henry Levine, of Thorn Ridge Studios, in Albany, Ohio. Levine started his art career creating pottery. He turned to glass blowing in 1984 while attending Alfred University in Alfred, New York. After graduation, he opened a wholesale neon sign company in Columbus. Levine started attending art festivals in 1999. After 10 years, Levine sold his neon company and opened his glass blowing studio in southern Ohio. Color draws Levine to his Munro-style glass blowing.
“People appreciate authenticity in art. I feel I achieve my authenticity that excites me that then excites my customer,” he said.
Second place was awarded to Wood Art by D. A self-taught wood worker for 30 years, Delia Smith, of Powell, said she learned a little through her own drive and some from YouTube. She believes function in wood working shouldn’t be sacrificed for aesthetics. Her design may include a piece of drift wood from the beach, Nova Scotia or the Olentangy River. “Design on the fly,” Smith said. A reconnaissance trip to the Olentangy River can result in wood, stones or little shells — any thing she finds interesting. Smith looks at one of her finds and thinks, “Your going to be something, don’t know what yet.”
Third place was awarded to Markgraf Clayworks, Tom and Karen Markgraf of Granville, Ohio. The husband and wife team are Columbus College of Art and Design graduates with Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees. Each is inspired differently. Tom Markgraf’s designs just evolve he said. Nature inspires Karen Markgraf, as seen in her designs.
Their clay creations are hand thrown, sculpted and hand glazed. The pottery can be functional and also contemporary works of art. In addition, Markgraf Clay Works has a teaching studio in the Newark Cultural Art Center.
“We have a big head class where everyone makes a big clay head,” said Tom Markgraf. “It’s interesting to see people grow in the class.”
Honorable Mention went to Amy Beeler Design of Oregon, Ohio. Beeler’s baskets are a unique design created from cotton clothes line then sewn in a circle by machine using regular thread with small stitches.
“I use American-made rope,” she said. Beeler’s donkey was the basket inspiration. She needed small, lightweight baskets, developed them, and soon started designing baskets as art work for the home.
According to festival President Mark Hardymon, this year saw a number of new exhibitors. He said they enjoyed the festival and the charm of Delaware.
“This year’s festival was a wonderful success, Hardymon said. “There are many volunteers, sponsors and various Delaware city departments to thank for their hard work and patience. Thanks again to everyone.”
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