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Art in the Park: Second festival a crowd pleaser

Sherryl Griffin is flanked by Cilde Grover and Vi Burton after presenting Griffin the best booth award.

Major festivals elsewhere in Curry County had little impact on a small festival in the park over the weekend.

If nothing else, the Festival of Art in Stout Park saw growth over the previous year, not only in the number of vendors, but in the number of visitors.

“We guesstimate 2,500 in attendance, the bulk of it on Saturday,” said Vi Burton, festival organizer for Pelican Bay Arts Association. “The weather was much warmer on Saturday; the sun just didn’t want to come out on Sunday.”

Visitors were from all over, including Montana, Washington, Nevada and several other states as well as the cities of Redding, Sacramento and Eureka, in California, and Coos Bay.

“People are used to coming here the first weekend in August for an art event,” Burton said. “A lady called me from Carson City, Nevada, asking about the event and said she wanted to do her Christmas shopping at the show.”

Cilde Grover and Burton worked on the planning of the event.  

“We had a great crew of volunteers this year, some from PBAA and some from the community,” Burton said. “It takes a lot of bodies to make it happen. Many of the vendors are here alone and really appreciated the booth sitters to give them breaks and to help carry their things to their booths.” 

The Boy Scouts were on hand on Sunday, helping people take down their booths and carry things to their cars.

“We had 20 more vendors this year and opened up a ‘village’ area toward the back of the park.” Burton said planners are looking at capping the number of booths at 75 for future festivals. 

Dori Randall handled the Kid’s Art Zone where they learned how to weave yarn on a loom; make butterflies out of coffee filters and paint on the “magic” easels (cardboard boxes) plus lots more.

The festival included 10 plein air painters in the park and Jay Mosby won the $50 gift certificate to Wright’s Custom Framing. Audi Stanton was the judge. One of the painters was a 3 year old.  

Brookings City Manager Gary Milliman judged the best booth contest and the winner for a free booth for next year was Sherryl Griffith, a kelp artist who was demonstrating in front of her booth.  Jane Opiat could be seen weaving and Rob Decker was demonstrating making clay creations.

“Cilde and I both are pleased with the results of this years festival and we appreciate the city and the community’s support for this exciting event,” Burton said. “We will be having a recap of the events next week.” 

If anyone has any comments to make, feel free to contact either Burton or Grover at Manley Art Center at  541-469-1807. 

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