Artists flock to 23rd annual Mulvane Art Fair

Amy Reinhardt

The 23rd annual Mulvane Art Fair, sponsored by the Mulvane Art Museum, had its opening day June 6 at Washburn University.

“The Art Fair is a huge fundraiser for the Mulvane Art Museum every year,” said Thomas Anderson, a Mulvane ArtLab assistant.

This two-day event is an opportunity for artists from around the country to showcase and sell their art. There was a wide variety of art mediums present at the fair, including photography, ceramics, jewelry, painting, sculpture and many more.

This year there were more than 90 artists that attended the fair, and each one had their own tent to display their pieces of art. The pieces in each exhibition included prices from less than $10 to well over a $1,000.

There were several artists at the fair from different parts of Kansas including Overland Park, Lawrence, Olathe and Topeka. Other artists traveled from states such as Texas, Georgia, Colorado, Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Illinois.

Becky Johnson, an artist from Colorado City, Colorado, has been coming to the Mulvane Art Fair for over 10 years with this year being her last. She specializes in the pastel painting.

“I enjoy coming to this art fair because of the direct contact I get to have with the people who view my art, and it makes me feel good to see all my friends and fellow artists,” Johnson said.

Aside from artists like Johnson who have attended the art fair several times, Saturday was a first-time experience for artists like Yevette Lubbers, Elise Keeling and Connie Mueller.

Lubbers, a resident of Oreana, Illinois, has specialized in glass sculpture for 35 years.

Keeling traveled from Kansas City, Missouri and creates salvage jewelry from recycled materials.

Mueller, a Kansas resident, is a weaver who creates rugs with natural fibers from alpacas.

“This event is very well organized and is such a beautiful venue,” Mueller said.

The warm weather kept the fair busy on Saturday with many people looking at and buying pieces of art from different artists’ tents.

“This will be my third time coming to the fair,” said Linda Steffe, a browser at the Mulvane Art Fair. “I used to teach art and so I love supporting the events that the Mulvane Art Museum puts on.”

In addition to the art collections, there were refreshments from Chartwells Catering, Kansas Wine & Beer Garden, Cashmere Gourmet Popcorn, Auletti’s Italian Ices and more.

There was entertainment on a live music stage provided by a variety of musical groups including Rachelle Coba, Biscuit Miller & The Mix and The 800’s band.

The Mulvane ArtLab was also represented in the Mulvane Art Fair this year. There was a tent where people could get involved in an assortment of artistic projects like painting.

“The ArtLab tent is a great attraction for kids, adults and basically anyone to come and make art,” said Christian Sauerman, an ArtLab assistant.

The Mulvane Art Fair will continue 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 7 on the courtyard across from Memorial Union at Washburn University. The event costs $10, but members of the Mulvane Art Museum will receive free admission.

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