OKLAHOMA CITY – Recent visitors to Paseo Arts District have seen white raffle boxes in 16 of the galleries and businesses. Those boxes, and the raffle tickets available for sale at each location, were the first step (running through the end of September) of the Paseo merchants bringing a national celebration of made-in-America craft to Oklahoma for the first time this October.
The tickets will be entries into drawings for more than $3,000 worth of merchant-donated items ranging from gift certificates to jewelry, paintings and more as Paseo hosts the American Craft Week celebration Oct. 1-16.
“This is an exciting opportunity to join a nationwide celebration of the value of handmade American art and craft,” said one of the event organizers, Sheridan Conrad of A Jeweler’s Art in The Paseo.
More than a dozen art and craft demonstrations are scheduled at an outdoor platform and by participating merchants and galleries on Saturday afternoons, Oct. 1 and 8, taking advantage of the traditional monthly First Friday evening celebration Oct. 7.
Conrad credited Paseo District merchants with helping organize and invest in the celebration as a way to promote art in the community and increase the economic importance of art in Oklahoma City and the state.
“We want to raise awareness of the value of American craft to our community and our way of life. Art affects our economy and community and represents who we are as American people,” she said. Demonstrations will include leather working, pottery, jewelry and much more, Conrad said. “We’re jointing a national movement. It’s our opportunity to show the value to Oklahoma of hand made art, whether furniture, leather, clothing, jewelry, pottery, basket weaving, painting and more,” she said. Now in its seventh year, American Craft Week is the nation’s largest celebration of handmade American craft, with events in 50 states. Based on what’s she’s seen in other states, Conrad believes Paseo will be a leader in promoting more awareness of the arts in Oklahoma.
“I expect it to dramatically increase traffic on Paseo, just by enabling families to come down and see art being made,” she said. She’s already seen national publicity and advertising on Paseo’s activity.
More information, including a list of participants, photos of artwork, demonstration schedules, and raffle prizes will be on the Paseo website by clicking on the American Craft Week tab: http://www.thepaseo.org.
Oklahoma City’s Paseo Arts District is home to more than 20 galleries, restaurants, art schools, boutiques and other businesses within walking distance on the curved, two-block street between NW 30th and North Walker and NW 28th.
The non-profit Paseo Arts Association hosts the annual Memorial Day weekend Paseo Arts Festival that attracts 60,000 people, along with many out of town artists. Having maintained its distinctive 1929 Spanish revival architecture with original stucco buildings and clay roof tiles, the Paseo Arts District has been listed as a neighborhood “worthy of preservation” on the National Register of Historic Places was named as one of the “10 Great Neighborhoods for 2010” by the American Planning Association.
For more information, visit the American Craft Week’s website.