By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – The annual Festival of the Arts returns to Oklahoma City’s Bicentennial Park at 500 Couch Drive at Walker Avenue, from April 24 to 29. The event will feature more than 140 of the nation’s most talented artists, an expanded children’s art area, returning food faves, culinary demonstrations, and three performing arts stages featuring over 250 performances. Admission is free.
The festival opening ceremony will take place on Tuesday, April 24 at 11 a.m. on the main stage.
The 2018 Festival of the Arts marks the 52nd annual event for Arts Council Oklahoma City. Event co-chairs for this year’s festival are Molly McBride and Paul Tyler. Festival hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. This year’s festival is expected to attract more than 700,000 visitors.
More than 400 artists submitted visual art for the Festival. There were 144 selected, including oils, water, drawing and printmaking, photography, ceramics, glass, sculpture, fiber, jewelry, wood and two and three-dimensional works.
2018 Festival featured artist Joy Richardson said, ““When approached by the 2018 co-Chairs, Molly McBride and Paul Tyler to be the Festival artist, I found their enthusiasm for color and excitement contagious. They saw Spring as awakening to reds, yellows, blues, and greens. Taking these primary colors and running with the delight of them readily translated onto my canvas.
“Though no defined objects are represented, I hope viewers come away happy and uplifted by the color blasts,” Richardson added. “Festival of the Arts is all about freshness and color – and new undiscovered artistic adventures.”
Always a popular venue, the International Food Row will feature 31 vendors in a tasty celebration of the culinary arts with proceeds benefitting local nonprofit organizations.
This year there will be an expanded children’s art field where participants can complete three art projects for $3. The face painting area also will include more extensive options in addition to the traditional $1 designs.
“The OKC Festival of the Arts is one of my favorite things on the planet and it’s one of my favorite times of the year,” Farooq Karim posted on Facebook. “So to get everyone ready I will give you a reminder of what’s coming your way April 24-29th.Since I got to be on the Food Committee this year it’s only appropriate that I start this countdown with my favorite thing to eat – my beloved Chocolate Meltdown dessert provided by Peter and Ginny Bass Carl’s Taco Tent. I hope to see you at Festival this year.”
Arts Council Oklahoma City has made a commitment to making Festival of the Arts a sustainable, zero-landfill event. This upcoming Festival of the Arts, entirely compostable or recyclable materials will be used at every food location. To learn more, stop by the Go Green tent while at the festival. https://www.artscouncilokc.com/festival-of-the-arts/festival-information/#go-green-initiative
All proceeds from Festival of the Arts support Arts Council Oklahoma City’s year-round, free and low-cost arts programming throughout the greater Oklahoma City community. .
Sign up now for Festi-First, the Festival of the Arts’ exclusive early art buying experience and get early access to the art, plus other benefits throughout the Festival. And for the first time, be a part of Festi-First under 40 for young professionals. You can register now online.
Arts Council Oklahoma City is a non-profit 501 ©(3) organization dedicated to bringing the arts and the community together through free or low-cost cultural events and a variety of arts outreach activities that impact underserved populations.
Each year, Arts Council events, programs and services reach nearly one million Oklahoma City residents and visitors. To learn more, call 405-270-4848 or visit www.ArtsCouncilOKC.com.
For Festival updates, visit the Festival of the Arts Facebook page.