Art fair highlights emerging artists

The Aaron Douglas Art Fair will be held on Sept. 22 starting at 10 a.m. and will last until 5 p.m. The fair will be held at Aaron Douglas Art Park with no charge for admission.

Born and raised in Topeka, artist Aaron Douglas became nationally renowned in the 1920’s for his work in the Harlem Renaissance movement. Today, he is considered by many to be the ‘Dean of African-American art’.   The fair celebrates the memory of Douglas and his legacy within the Topeka community by nurturing up-and-coming artists from the surrounding area.

The Aaron Douglas Celebration Mural is a project of the Central Topeka TurnAround Team. To honor Topeka artist Aaron Douglas and to celebrate Topeka’s rich heritage, the TurnAround Team has been joined by many in the community to recreate one of Douglas’s powerful works in mural form.

The mural can be found at the wall constructed at the corner of 12th and Lane Streets. The painting of the mural was overseen by Kansas artist David Lowenstein, with the help of artist Stan Herd.

This year’s fair, will be the 7th annual, dedicated to showcasing diverse and emerging artists from Topeka and the surrounding region.

“There are over 50 artists participating this year,” said Graves. “That includes five different music bands, poetry readings, painters, jewelry artists, fiber artists and a lot more.”

This year’s featured artist will be Lisa Adame.

“Each year, the art fair executive committee selects a Featured Artist to showcase at the fair.  This year, the committee selected painter and fiber artist Lisa Adame as our Featured Artist.  Lisa is an up-and-coming Topeka artist who has really made a name for herself over the past year.  She’s dedicated and enthusiastic about her work.  She has a strong point of view and a bright future.  She’s everything we look for in a featured artist, and we’re proud to have her representing the fair this year.”

Michael Allen, Washburn University’s preparatory at the Mulvane Museum of Art, is a member of the 2012 Aaron Douglas Art Fair Committee. Also, Washburn University Alumni helps with the fair’s organization and finances.

The WASA (the Washburn Art Student Association) plays a huge role in the fair each year.  They help run our children’s booth, and every year they come up with a creative art project for the children to participate in.  Last year, they had the kids write wishes on small pieces of paper and then strung them on a “wishing tree”.

The Aaron Douglas Art Fair is one of many opportunities for art students to reach out to the community of Topeka.

The Aaron Douglas Art Fair will be a day full of live music, poetry reading and emerging artists showing artwork for the Topeka area to see. Free admission may tempt students this Saturday afternoon to stop by and see what makes up the Topeka culture of today.

For more information, contact Stefanie Graves at (785)766-5376 or go on line to