Art in the Square takes over Southlake

Posted Monday, Apr. 29, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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As Rose Bedwell strode past the booths of art, one piece seemed to be watching her.

“Look he’s winking at me,” the Colleyville resident exclaimed.

As she moved, the man in the frame turned with her, lifted his vintage red-and-blue 3D glasses, then winked at her before putting his glasses back on.

The art at the Art in the Square festival in Southlake was one of artist Michael Brown’s animated works.

“The public loves them,” the Illinois artist said about his “cinemagraphic” work.

Each piece features several different pictures on vertical slices that appear animated. Brown said his self-portrait in 3D glasses uses 300 different pictures to complete the effect, and the animation adds another level of interaction between the artist and the potential buyer.

Brown was one of about 150 artists showcasing and selling work at the art festival that takes over the city’s Town Square every year.

Visitors also enjoyed the weekend’s sunny skies, live music and festival food and drink, but the fine art was the greatest draw.

While the artists keep profits from art sales, the Southlake Women’s Club, which organizes the event, donates all other proceeds to more than 30 charities and uses the work of about 600 volunteers. While official numbers were not available on Monday, Art in the Square publicity chair Amy Schroeder said the organization feels confident in its philanthropy.

“We really feel that it was a banner year,” she said. “The crowds were out in droves.”

The art varies from landscape paintings and photography to metal sculptures of farm animals, and artists are eager to talk about their work with visitors.

As Grapevine resident Jerry Hodge admired a scratch board artwork of a white horse on a black canvas, artist Stephanie Ford from Silver City, Texas came out to greet him.

Ford explained the process of using a knife to scratch in the horse and its finely detailed hairs.

“We really have to study what we buy,” Hodge said. “I like to know the process.”

Ford said it’s not only the buyers that benefit from the interaction.

“It’s really great,” she said. “I get commissions and people start looking for me.”

With a cup of wine in hand, Jerry Hodge’s wife Tracy said she enjoyed the ability to see upscale art in a casual outdoor setting.

“We were so impressed last year that we came back with more vigor,” she said.

The Art Fair Sourcebook 2012 ranked Art in the Square as the eighth best show in the nation based on the community and the ability for artists to sell. More than 700 artists applied to showcase their work this year. Only 150 made the cut.

Bedford-based artist G.M. Webb travels the country selling his artwork of wire bent into masks and faces, but he said Art in the Square is his favorite show. He’s had five appearances in Southlake.

He said the people are what make this show one of the best in the nation.

“The people really appreciate the artists,” he said. “And they do buy art.”

Dustin L. Dangli, 817-390-7770 Twitter: @dussssstin

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