Just a few things happening at the Downtown Oklahoma City Arts Festival 2014 on Friday and Saturday. #OKCFA is free and open to the public, and has been " a thing" since the 1970's bringing on heavy doses of all kinds of art and bringing Downtown OKC together in the beautiful, though sometimes unpredictable weather.
This event is at RENO and North Walker, which is just SOUTH of the DEVON TOWER in the Downtown Oklahoma City Myriad Gardens. DEVON is a giant mirrored building and the largest in Downtown Oklahoma City, so with clear Oklahoma skies, and an unfettered skyline, one should be able to discern the location from about 20 miles in any direction. That should suffice to get to the property and all events. Parking is on the street, and in dedicated lots, those have a fee. People often ride their bikes downtown, or ride to a location and THEN bring their bikes the last few blocks. With the Downtown Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, tomorrow's crowd should be the largest of the week. Bike parking is at SPOKIES , on the NORTHWEST side of the event entrance, other formal bike racks are at the Crystal Bridge, and motorcycle and scooter parking is designated on the WEST side of the Cafe Stages, though there may be others.
Opening this slide series are shots of the children's arts section, just EAST of the PLAYGROUND. This is different than the interior stations of the YOUTH ARTIST TENT where kids can shop for their first ever art purchases from other young artists, under 5.00, or the make it tent, where kids are potting plants and making a paid project.
The children's arts section includes things like face painting, and cooperative art project, where kids decorate a wooden tongue depressor and hang that message on a frame of Oklahoma, which blows in the breeze. Little and big kids together are filling this up, and the messages are heartwarming and full of good will for any reader.
One group giving away Greek Yogurt samples and coupons in this corridor.
Douglass High School Band is notorious for generating moving music of all sorts, and joined an artist in residence GREGORY JEROME and his professional band... generating a wide mix of heavy base and rhythm music that had people on their feet, dancing and call and response gestures to the stage. "They told me this could not be done, but we are going to do it", Jerome said, as his own professional band of 5 finished a few independent sets and the DHS BAND emerged to accompany them and filled the stage. Proud parents and friends snapped away. Even the band director, who is truly a dedicated and gifted leader had a moment to experience the crowd appreciation of his handiwork with Mr. Jerome and these youth.
HS age girls were involved in a Trashy Dress contest, creating outfits solely of items that are often considered remnants, like trashbags, drop cloths, coffee filters or drink tabs. Often these new designers are either given a bag of predecided materials and told to create, OR are given a list from which to choose a limited number of items. Girls modeled their creations, and were granted prizes on the usual arenas of creativity, artistic design, craftsmanship and wearability. These contests are a national trend, and many girls end up wearing their dress to other events not just the contest made for.
Lunch both days filled with people enjoying one another of all ages, from all over. Beginning Saturday, people began to arrive with their families for the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon which will be Sunday.
Ballet Folklorica from various regions of Mexico were danced by a wide array of dancers. One was adult women barefoot with fresh pineapples, celebrating a harvest. The tiles on the stage, burning their feet. Multiple others included heavy long sleeved, high collared ankle length dresses with petticoats and pantaloons, with big boots and bedecked hair and outfits with ribbons. Over 80 degrees outside. Some dances told stories, a competition of roosters for hens. And the Mexican Hat Dance, as well as Germanically influenced Polka Dancing, which had the crowd clapping rhythmically. Costumes were all handmade and authentic to each dance region, with heavy embroidery on male and female outfits. The Maestra explained the importance of teaching the cultural and regional dances to the youth of the community who wish to keep traditions alive, but also the joys of sharing with the larger community in educational performances.
Raku pots expanded their gig, to a 70+ foot painting station, where young and old glazed prefired small and large pots and the ceramists placed them in super hot kilns for a second bake ( causing each pot to glow completely ORANGE) and then removing them with 3' tongs, AND a WELDERS MASK AND WELDERS GLASSES... into a waiting second metal drum which houses sawdust and newly placed newspaper. In the second drum, the sawdust and newspaper oxidize the pot, which after an interval of about 15 minutes is again removed smoking with tongs and tossed gently into a cooling waterbath and then a rinse before being returned to tables awaiting the owner reclaiming by NUMBER on the pot bottom. The glee of the group, both the staffers and volunteers and the visitors crafting is so delightful. Creating is such an immersion, especially under the bright blue sky.
Live bands have played on all stages, along with dance classes, singers and instrumentalists of every age and persuasion.
People took selfies and group shots and snapped performers they knew and did not. Friends met up, dates and such. Lively, friendly crowds. http://www.examiner.com/article/oklahoma-city-festival-of-the-arts-2014-...