The Delaware Arts Festival starts Saturday morning and will feature exhibitors from all over the country, with profits going to Delaware County art students and instructors.
The 43rd annual festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday in downtown Delaware. Admission and parking are free.
While it may be the local Arts Festival, exhibitors attend from all over America.
“This year, 25 percent of the exhibitors will be new people who have never done the show before,” Judy Burdette, a volunteer for the festival, told The Gazette earlier this year. “The mix is really good — a full complement of ceramics and glass people, as well as artists using every medium imaginable, plus photography.”
The festival’s website said independent judges award exhibitors “based on craftsmanship, originality, creativity and display.”
“We are probably one of the few shows that even if the person won Best of Show last year, we make them jury back in,” Burdette said. “That’s the way it’s always been done, and consequently, we pick up new talent from all over the United States. If anything, the applicants are more than last year.”
While the 10,000 people who attend the festival annually get to see what the 161 juried exhibitors are showing and selling, some may not know the purpose of the festival, which “is to promote artistic endeavors in the visual arts” among the county’s schools. Three scholarships are awarded to graduating high school seniors who plan to study art in college.
Winners this year are:
• Amanda Ba, from Olentangy Orange High School, who is the first-place winner, with an award of $6,000 over four years.
• Elle Yax, from Olentangy Liberty High School, placed second with an award of $5,000 over four years.
• Lance Kriesch, from Hayes High School, placed third with an award of $4,000 over four years.
The festival also gives grant awards and stipends to Delaware County art teachers.
The only concern each year for the Arts Festival is rain.
“It’s going to be a really nice show,” Burdette said. “We’re going to have to do a dance so the weather’s good. That’s the only element that keeps the show from being wonderful every year.”
There will also be some booths for corporate sponsors, like The Gazette and local nonprofit organizations.
Some downtown streets will be closed during the Arts Festival — Sandusky Street, from William Street to Central Avenue; and Winter Street, from Franklin Street to the East Winter Street exit from the city parking lot. The closings will be in effect from 5:30 a.m. Saturday to 6:30 p.m. Sunday.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.