Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Art festival planned for summer debut

By The Herald Staff | 11/1/2013

Art lovers, rejoice.

The SWAN Arts Festival is expected to make its debut June 20-22, 2014, in Ottawa’s downtown City Park, Fifth and Main streets, with the new website for the festival, www.SWANartfestival.com, was expected to go live Friday.

Art lovers, rejoice.

The SWAN Arts Festival is expected to make its debut June 20-22, 2014, in Ottawa’s downtown City Park, Fifth and Main streets, with the new website for the festival, www.SWANartfestival.com, was expected to go live Friday.

“I’ve been saying that Ottawa has lacked an art festival since I moved back after college,” Shawn Dickinson, festival director, said. “I’ve spent time with other festival directors figuring out things they’re doing that would work and things that haven’t. It’s been an ongoing process over the last few years.”

The SWAN Arts Festival is a collaboration between locally-based Dickinson Productions, the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce, Ottawa Area Arts Council, Ottawa Main Street Association, City of Ottawa and the Franklin County Convention and Visitors Bureau, as well as other local organizations, he said.

Dickinson also serves on the Ottawa City Commission.

“I’ve talked to city and county leaders and together we’ve collectively decided to do it,” Dickinson said. “I am undertaking the majority of the work. I don’t say I’ve done all of everything and I know it’s going to take the community to bring a festival like this to fruition and [to make it] as successful as other festivals.”

The festival is expected to feature original art, art demonstrations, live music, craft and food vendors and a variety of children’s activities, but focusing mainly on fine art, he said.

“I want to get some artists that would be interested in showing demonstrations like pottery,” Dickinson said. “I want people to see what’s really going on and how art is really created, because most people don’t see that part of art.”

The festival hopes to highlight quality art that already is being crafted in the region, increase awareness of the art by bringing new artists and art forms to Ottawa and to provide a free family-friendly summer festival to the Ottawa area, the release said.

Vendor applications for the art show, as well as craft and food booths, are expected to be accepted beginning Jan. 1, 2014.

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