Downtown Edmond Arts Festival displays community creativity

Peyton Cleek



Edmond hosted its 46th annual arts festival in downtown Edmond May 3-5 that included art, music, food, and live characters.

The arts festival had various artforms including sculptures, paintings, pottery, jewelry and photography. There were food trucks and food stands that had drinks, snacks and desserts, and there were restaurants for dining options. Live musicians such as Sean Neely, Alyssa Elaine, and Nick Massey performed songs. There were people dressed up as animated characters such as Bluey, Tiana, Spiderman, Batman, Rapunzel and more in the children’s tent. All the artists were in tents lined up and down the street.

Artist Kris Fairchild talked about her collection “Party Animals.” She said before she started this collection, she was mostly doing coral reefs and colorful things. She said Allied Arts, a non-profit in Oklahoma that supports all kinds of art organizations and artwork, holds a fundraiser every year called “ARTtini.” It is a martini tasting and art auction, and she donates a piece of artwork every year. One specific year, she decided to make a specific piece for the auction called “Make it Dirty.” It was the very first of the “Party Animals” series. “It was a lot of fun, so I painted a bunch more party animals, and they’ve now taken over my life” she said. “They all have just the right animal with just the right drink,” she said.


Artist Tonda Smith explained where she got her inspiration from for her art. “Well, I’m growing up, and when you don’t have much, you appreciate more, and so my work, I wanted it to be repurposed items that I find wherever, and I’ve always liked industrial, that industrial feel. Mine is kind of industrial with a twist, so I take the pipes but then I add different touches to them, maybe like the feminine styles or I love gears and all my parts are functional,” she said. “I started probably five years ago, and I’m trying to tweak my designs and find my little niche, so it’s kind of, you know, different,” she said.

Artist Jennifer Gray gave some background information on her jewelry. “So most of this is kind of traditional Native American patterns, but I really like to put a pop of color in there too, so these are all passed down from my grandmother and my mother” she said. “This is something I’ve been doing for a long time, probably since I was like nine or ten years old and so I just kept doing it, perfecting the craft and as I got older, people would kind of comment on what I was wearing, and I was like why not give it a shot,” she said.


Artist Sean Corner talked about how his clay sculptures started. “Well, I’ve been doing it for 32 years, started in ’92, and was an ancient Roman and Greek history major, and so I started doing this on the side, and it just led to a full-time thing”, he said. He said a lot of his sculptures were inspired by myths. He said his favorite piece right now is his “Question the Answers” sculpture, which is a man pushing back on a pair of hands that are crushing him. He said it means to “Challenge the World.”

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