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By Samantha Gillis
The hues of warm fall colors paint the welcoming scene of Art in the Park. The exhibition features fine art, from clothing, to brooches, to paintings and pastels. The festival celebrated its 35th anniversary with a discounted fee for vendors. In years past, the fee was $55, this year it was $35.
“This is the only fine art exhibition in Kansas,” Phyllis Hearn, event volunteer and Winfield art counsel assistant director said. With 58 vendors, Hearn can’t recall this good of a turnout from both vendors and attendants. “We still had people coming in at 4 (p.m.), that’s usually when people start leaving.” The suggested $2 per person donation entrance fee went to support children’s activities in Winfield.
Out of the all the people who attended the event, Verna Penelope Jokomo, philosophy & religion sophomore, didn’t see many students. “I just think students aren’t involved in community events enough.”
Caitlin Dyck, nursing junior, agrees, “Some students don’t come because they are not open minded.” Some students attended in a different way. Elynne Fell, marine biology junior, helped her father with his Raku pottery table. Campus Players were selling baked goods and DVDs as a fundraiser for their trip to England, and there were numerous International Club volunteers as well.
Jokomo was one of the volunteers, “I helped with the guest services booth, it was really pretty easy,” she said. She didn’t know what to expect but said it was a relaxing stress reliever. “It works both ways, if you like shopping and that relieves your stress then you can do that, or if you just want to walk around and see pretty things,” Jokomo said.
Dyck attended the event because she needed the credit for her Creativity in the Arts class, but she admits she was glad she came. “It’s so cool here. I like the pumpkin decorating people. One of (pumpkins) was painted like Frankenstein, with those little knobs in its side,” she said. Dyck also admired the wood work, but couldn’t resist buying a sterling silver hammered bracelet. “It just stood out,” she said.
The artwork that stood out to the judges was awarded with a ribbon and a cash price. There are two categories, fine arts and fine crafts. Each category receives a best in show price, three blue ribbons, three red ribbons and three white ribbons. Best in show receives $275, blue ribbons receive $125, red ribbons receive $80 and white ribbons receive $55. This year’s best in show for the fine arts category was awarded to Dale Martin for his pastels. Grafton Mills received the honors for fine crafts, for her embroidery clothing.
“All of the vendors were so talented,” said Jokomo. She enjoyed the soothing atmosphere and music. The Madrigal Singers and Brass Quintet kicked off the event at 10 a.m., TBA performed at 11 a.m., Nightwatchman followed at noon, Julie Sutton played at 1 p.m., Josh Fleig and Ben Byers were on stage at 2 p.m., Piper Leigh and Mark Bowling played at 3 p.m., Tom Hoeffgen and Friends wrapped up the festivities at 4 p.m..
“You wouldn’t expect an event like this in such a little town,” said Jokomo.
There is just one emotion that sums up Dyck’s feelings about the festival. “Contentment. I am not like extremely happy. I am just good. Ya know? It’s cool,” she said.
Samantha Gillis is a junior majoring in convergent journalism. You may e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.