Edom Art Festival returns to be an in-person event this weekend | @To play

The Edom Art Festival is back after being devastated last year by the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 50 artists will exhibit their work – including ceramics, metal, photography, fiber, mixed media, sculpture, glass, painting, wood and jewelry – during the festival this weekend in the Van Zandt County.

Festival director Beth Brown said this year’s event is dedicated to “A celebration of art and life”. Her husband, Doug Brown, passed away last year.

“This is my first festival without Doug, and that’s why we celebrate art and life,” she said. “And then, when the pandemic came out, we had to cancel last year. There have been a lot of deaths and our community has been hit hard. “

Brown’s husband was the founder of the art festival.

“He moved here in 1971 from Northern California and settled in Edom and created the arts community here,” she said. “A year after his arrival, he launched the art festival, and it has been going on ever since. This is our 49th year, so we are planning a big party next year for our 50th.

Brown said another of their performers also died last year.

“It’s just… this gaping wound for our little town here with two very important artists who passed away last year,” she said. “We just wanted to celebrate life and its beauty and the beauty of art with life.”

Last year’s festival was virtual, but Brown said it wasn’t well received.

“We have put all of our artists on the website with photographs of their work and contact numbers,” she said. “We didn’t sell their work directly to them because we wanted them to have that personal contact with people like you would if you went to their stands at festivals.”

Although the organizers had to cancel the festival in person, Brown said they still wanted to make it easy for longtime customers to support their favorite artists online.

“But it didn’t really work out that well,” she said. “It’s not the same as our regular festival, so we’re excited to be back in person this year.”

The festival is family-friendly and also has a space for children.

“We have what’s called the Kids Creation Station, and I have an artist this year helping us create masks, not pandemic masks, but more of a Mardi Gras or Halloween mask,” Brown said. .

This year’s event will have no makeup.

“We felt like it wasn’t a good thing to do with the current climate,” Brown said.

A festival is not a festival without good food and drink, and Brown said there will be plenty.

“We have a lot of great food and we have a wine garden, and two of our east Texas wineries will be joining us,” she said. “There is a small… stage with comfortable seats and cafe tables, so you can sit and listen to music while enjoying a glass of wine and your lunch or artisan goat cheese or homemade chocolates. hand.”

In addition to Texas, Brown said artists came from other states such as Kansas, Oklahoma and Louisiana to exhibit their work.

As for the number of participants each year, Brown said it was difficult to say because there was no admission fee.

“A few years ago, we had a ticket office and we counted 8,000 people who came by,” she said. “I think we probably have between 8,000 and 10,000 people if it’s a nice weekend.”

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Reggie S. Williams

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