Aaron Douglas art festival holds 10th anniversary

This year’s featured artist, Jordan E. Brooks, shows off his paintings to attendees of the Aaron Douglas Art Festival. Brooks painted the picture featured on this year’s t-shirt alongside selling his own work which focuses on relationships.

Dylan McManis

The 10th annual Aaron Douglas Art Festival was celebrated on Saturday, Sep. 26, in honor of the African-American painter and Topeka native of the same name.

Every year the Aaron Douglas art festival is celebrated in the Aaron Douglas Park at 12th and Lane just behind Dillon’s. Every year, the festival continues to grow in size, this year hosting almost 50 different booths run by local artists. The festival prides itself on showcasing diverse and emerging artists in the community.

“You get to communicate with your community, with fans, it helps fuel your creativity and talent. It’s just a great feeling to meet the people you are selling to.”

Jade Hisey, a PR spokesperson for the event as well as a professional photographer and the owner of Dancing Man Studio here in Topeka, spoke highly of the ability of the fair to allow artists to reach out into their community. Her work was not featured at the fair this year but can be found on her website dancingmanstudio.com.

“It all started with the mural,” Hisey said.

The mural that Hisey refers to the mural built by the Topeka community that replicates Aaron Douglas’ mural “Aspects of the Negro Life: From Slavery Through Reconstruction”. After painting the mural, those community members then set forth to foster local artists through the art festival.

Every year, the fair has a featured artist; this year that artist was Jordan E. Brooks.

“It’s an honor, so I’m here showing everyone my gratitude for being selected to represent Aaron Douglas this year. Aaron Douglas has always been an inspiration to me.”

Brook’s is a painter whose works can be found at jordanebrooks-com.webs.com.

“My most common major theme is my work is probably relationships, I think that they are something everyone can always relate to; whether it’s a girl and a guy, a guy and a guy and vise versa. We all need connections.”

Brooks also spoke about the importance of the fair.

“For any artist it helps getting their name out. It helps inspire the artists first of all to move forward, and then second of all probably to help further their career so that they can possibly make a living off of it or at least support their dreams.”