The calendar for the 23rd Annual Eureka Springs May Festival of the Arts, just released, includes over 130 events - the most ever. The city known as Mid-America’s Art Capital celebrates arts of every kind throughout the month of May.
“This year we continue the recent trend of raising both the number and quality of festival events,” according to C.A.P.C. Executive Director Jim Williams. “Our very talented arts community has put together an amazing and exhaustive array – everything from fine art to the ‘artrageous,’ from gallery strolls and studio walks to parades and free music in the park,” he added.
Many month-long exhibits and shows are scheduled including a collection of paintings by the late Eureka Springs artist, Glenn Swedlen, at the Historical Museum, and the Eureka Springs Invitational Art Show at the recently restored Queen Anne Mansion’s Garden Level Gallery. Month-long shows are also set for Fantasy & Stone, Studio 62, Iris at the Basin Park, and Fusion Squared.
Free concerts in Basin Spring Park have also been expanded this year. There will be free music outdoors every day during May, weather permitting. Shows are set for Monday through Friday 3-5 p.m., Saturday 12-6 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Dan Zanes and Friends will perform, May 15, 3-5 p.m., courtesy of Walton Arts Center’s Artosphere Festival.
May Festival of the Arts kicks off with what is perhaps the city’s most colorful and festive parade of the year, the ARTrageous parade. It rolls through historic downtown at 2 p.m. on May 1. This year’s parade Grand Marshall is Tusk III, the Razorback mascot.
Also on that day, the Queen Anne Mansion House Museum, known for its architectural uniqueness, officially opens following extensive renovations.
Gallery strolls are scheduled every Saturday night from 6-8 p.m. In addition to free refreshments at participating galleries, each gallery stroll will include at least six separate artists’ receptions and shows.
A special effort has been made to include artists and art aficionados of all ages in this year’s festival. The art of Eureka Springs Middle School students will be on display May 3-14 at City Hall in the 4th Annual Mayor’s Student Art Exhibit. “Let’s Read a Picture,” a free drop-in art appreciation experience for children ages 5 –12 years old and their adult partners, takes place at the Carnegie Public Library May 4 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. And Iris at the Basin Park will exhibit the art of Eureka Springs and Berryville High School students all month long.
Two separate arts and crafts fairs take place the second weekend of the month. Both the Turpentine Creek Arts and Crafts Fair and the War Eagle Mill Antique and Craft Show are set for May 7-9.
This year’s May Festival of the Arts also includes the inaugural Grand Illumination, May 13-16. Thousands of Japanese and Chinese paper lanterns will adorn the facades of historic downtown buildings and many of the grand Victorian homes as well.
The literary and photographic arts will be highlighted during the third weekend in May. “Three Springs and a Ladder,” a photography exhibit featuring photos of four local landmarks taken by local and regional artists, will be held at Cornerstone Bank’s downtown location, also known as the Bank of Eureka Springs Historical Museum. It is sponsored by the Eureka Springs Outdoor Alliance, and a reception opens the exhibit May 15 from 3-6 p.m. Also, the 6th Annual Books in Bloom Literary Festival, a free event featuring authors and book-related professionals, will be held at the Crescent Hotel May 16 from noon until 5 p.m.
One of the month’s most festive and well-attended events is the annual White Street Studio Walk, which takes place May 21 from 5-9 p.m. Historic White Street is the working address of a large number of local artists who welcome the public into their homes and studios to view their latest works. For more information, call 479-253-9318.
Automobiles will strut their stuff as works of art during the festival as well. PT Cruiser owners meet here May 7-9 with a parade set for May 8 at 9 p.m. ARTCAR enthusiasts gather here May 18-20 and parade through historic downtown May 19 at 6 p.m. And the 16th Annual Mustang Show happens May 29.
Both culinary and fine arts will be on display May 28 during “A Taste of Art.” Eureka Springs’ restaurants will host local artists and their works while tempting the public with their cuisine. For more info visit www.mayfestivalofthearts.com/taste-of-art/.
The month-long festival also includes a concert by the Ozarks Chorale a book signing, demonstrations of flute-making and drum-making, a healing water gathering, the season’s opening of the Great Passion Play, Art in the Park, a garden tour, a portrait-painting master class, and dozens of other events.
This year’s festival schedule is so full that it couldn’t all be contained in just one month. Therefore, the 23rd Annual May Festival of the Arts will conclude the first weekend in June with the annual Eureka Springs Blues Weekend. Concerts will take place in the City Auditorium and at venues all around town, and there will be free concerts in Basin Spring Park. For more information and the complete Blues Weekend concert schedule go to EurekaSpringsBlues.com.
For the complete schedule of events in the 2010 Eureka Springs May Festival of the Arts go to MayFestivaloftheArts.com.