As Art in the Square celebrates its 15th anniversary, the impeccable reputation of the event continues to gain momentum and respect in the art world as throngs of art lovers flock to the three-day festival annually. Props to the Southlake Women’s Club, first for the foresight to create the event and second for skillfully marketing and nurturing it to grow into one of the premier art festivals in the country.
The festival opens next weekend at Southlake Town Square, one of the area’s top destinations for dining and shopping, and runs through April 27.
The Artist Plaza will feature more than 150 talented artists carefully chosen through a juried process. Two stages will entertain festivalgoers with live music throughout the event. For the children, there’s a Kid’s Korner and The Zone with bounce houses, rock climbing and bungee jumping. Le Bistro is back again to serve delicious food and beverage.
The Sabre Stage headliner act on opening night is the IDT Band, and on April 26, the main event is a show by The Cadillac Three.
Festival Chairwoman Kris Nelson said, “This year’s festival, our 15th, we have some new and very exciting additions. A new area, Destination Alley, sponsored by Celebrity Cruises, is sure to become a new favorite.
“It will feature Bellatrino food truck, an Italian street painter and unique street performers alongside new and interesting artist booths. You may even see a surprise or two happening within the square, if you keep your eyes and ears open.”
Applications were submitted by 723 artists from 41 states and seven countries this year, the most ever. After the selections were made, artists from 26 states had been chosen, as well as five international artists.
Featured artists are T.J. Thompson, Janelle Lindley, Anne London, Dean Russell Thompson, Erin Hanson, Martin Lambuth, Michelle Mardis, Preston Steed and Dennis Rhoades. Samples of their work and of other artists’ are on the event website.
The Southlake Women’s Club Foundation awards grants to charities in Northeast Tarrant County through proceeds from the festival. It also funds scholarships for graduating high school seniors from Carroll schools. Since 2000, Art in the Square has donated $2 million back to the community.
Kudos to a large committee from the women’s club for a year of work on the event. Besides Nelson and Messing, other chairs were Carmen Evans, Sherri Whitt, Norma Whitt, Robin Snyder, Lisa Lair and MJ Adams.
Admission and parking are free. Hours are Friday from 4 to 10:30 p.m., April 26 from 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. and April 27 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Timeless Concert features Rachmaninoff
“An Evening in Russia with Rachmaninoff” is the theme of a wonderful evening of music, refreshments and auction shopping planned by the Timeless Concerts series in Arlington on April 26 at the Arlington Museum of Art, 201 W. Main St.
Timeless Concerts include classical, contemporary and international music and are produced by Lee Anne Chenoweth of Arlington, a former violinist with the Fort Worth Symphony, who established the series.
Professional musicians will perform the music of Sergei Rachmaninoff, whose piano concertos are part of the required repertoire of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Tenor Don O’Neal LeBlanc will sing several of his works, and Chenoweth will provide a historical prospective of the composer.
The concert begins at 8 p.m., followed by music for dancing by pianist/vocalist Steve Stroud. A dessert, fruit and cheese buffet will be served, as will complimentary wine, or guests may bring their own.
Butterfly Wishes event moves to prime time
Moncrief was instrumental several years ago in establishing the annual event, which helps raise money for Wish With Wings, which grants wishes for Texas children facing life-threatening illness.
Executive Director Judy Youngs said the organization will present the inaugural Rosie Moncrief Wings of Hope Award as the first of plans to annually honor an individual or organization that touches the lives of children facing illness or uncertain futures.
“Where the Wish Begins” is this year’s theme for the event, which has grown in size and popularity over the past nine years until organizers decided a change to the evening gala format was needed.
Co-chairs of the gala are Amy Yudiski, Kurt Haman and Greg Kalina with help from a committee including Diane Ayres, Kathryn Curtis, Daniella Giglio, Kristen Deweese, Cynthia Prince and Don Marable.
Guests in cocktail attire will enjoy a full evening including silent and live auctions and a program featuring “nine adorable Wish Kids walking the runway with their chosen heroes,” Young said. “Guests will learn how a single magical wish helped them overcome seemingly unbeatable odds.
“We will introduce you to some very special Wish Children who will share their stories of extraordinary bravery and profound strength. You will also meet their heroes who helped them through their treatment. It will be an unforgettable evening that will touch your heart and lift your spirit.”
Newswoman Deborah Ferguson returns as mistress of ceremonies, and Trey & the Tritones will play dance music on the terrace.
“Our inaugural evening gala is a fitting celebration, complete with a fitting honoree, of a benchmark year for our organization. As a board, we are proud to carry the torch Rosie so generously helped light,” Kalina said.
Big Guns event Thursday benefits Fort Worth police
The Big Guns in Cowtown fundraiser benefiting the Fort Worth Police Department’s training programs and equipment purchases is scheduled for Thursday, at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse in downtown Fort Worth.
Guests will sip on cocktails and nosh on hors d’oeuvres as they peruse a gallery of Beretta shotguns, luxury watches and other “big boy toys,” organizers said.
Celebrity “big guns” in attendance will include event host Hal Jay, TCU’s Gary Patterson, Mayor Betsy Price, Police Chief Jeff Halstead and professional shotgun shooter Travis Mears.
“We’ve been very blessed to garner such wonderful support for the brave men and women of the Fort Worth Police Department. Big Guns in Cowtown has grown into a fun and special way to back the blue while providing needed dollars to enhance safety in our city,” writes Jeff Bryan, a retired Fort Worth police officer and the event spokesman.