Social Eyes by Faye Reeder

Five things to know about Bedford ArtsFest

Suzuki Strings performs at last year’s Bedford ArtsFest.
Suzuki Strings performs at last year’s Bedford ArtsFest. Courtesy photo

“In collaboration with the Bedford Cultural Commission, the city of Bedford presents ArtsFest to promote and celebrate the arts in Bedford with a single-day event that adds vibrancy to the Mid-Cities by creating opportunities for people of all ages, cultures and backgrounds to celebrate the arts of North Texas,” event coordinator Jeff Florey said.

The art

Festivalgoers will see an impressive selection of juried art pieces including those winning cash prizes for being judged best of show and the first two runners-up. The work of emerging student-artists in kindergarten through 12th grade will also be on display. Art collectors can add to their collections from the regional artists and craftsmen who will bring their latest creations.

“Throughout the year I have attended events in other cities featuring craftsmen and artisans,” Mayor Jim Griffin said. “None of them exceeds the quality of artistry that will be featured at ArtsFest 2016, when our own local artists will have an opportunity to share their talents with our community.”

The food

There’s a big assortment of food vendors to fit every appetite, so come early and stay late without ever being hungry. Guests will get the wheel deal when Lee’s Grilled Cheese, Kona Ice and Krazy Cowboy roll their trucks in. And of course, there will be craft beers, wine and soft drinks along with all the other traditional festival fare.

The music

Continuous shows in two areas — the community performance space and the live music stage — means this festival will rock. “This family-friendly festival will feature musicians and performers who contribute to the vibrant heritage of the North Texas region,” Florey said.

Bands performing will include Poly Hwy, John Tipton, Grady Spencer & The Work, Dale Watson, Chaz Marie Band, Jack Kerowax and headliner Holy Moly.

The shopping

Shopaholics can indulge their passion because ArtsFest has more than 50 arts and crafts exhibitors.

Come see them all, but here’s a brief random sampling (Google them to discover their products): Hanging By Threads, Life is Fragile, Creede Creations, Big T Woodworks, Dizzy B’s, Clover Hollow Soaps & Sundries, Artisan Handmade Jewelry, Running Dog Batiks, Not Just Canvas, Hippie Notions, Tina’s Treasures, Deco Beading, Ahaus Pottery, Sweatshop Robot, Wandering Thistle Studio, Ami’s Art Glass and dozens more.

The activities

A kids’ area will offer a slew of activities to keep the younger set engaged, and adults will find crafts and fun activities as well.

“The emerging cultural district and events such as ArtsFest have a groundswell of support and are contributing to building a vibrant sense of community in Bedford,” Councilman Ray Champney said.

Paint ’n’ Party will be on site from 11 a.m to 1 p.m. to help you create your very own masterpiece in just an hour or two. They bring the supplies and you and your friends just show up and leave with bragging rights on your personal art piece. Cost is $30 per person; limit of 30 participants.

If you go (and you should!): 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday at Boys Ranch Park, 2801 Forest Ridge Drive. Admission and parking are free. www.Bedfordtx.gov/artsfest.

UTA fires up the furnace for Glass Art Sale and Show

Join the legions of fans who love glass art as UTA shines a spotlight on creative art education during its annual Glass Art Show and Sale from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Studio Arts Center, 810 S. Davis Drive. The event draws enthusiasts from across Texas and from neighboring states, attracting crowds that line up before the doors open.

University spokeswoman Bridget Lewis said the sale features “hundreds of items delicately handcrafted by students and staff in the College of Liberal Arts glass art program” at affordable costs well below art gallery pricing.

Prices start as low as $5 for the vases, paperweights, platters and other art pieces, but shoppers should arrive early as things can sell out quickly. Don’t miss a chance for some gorgeous pieces available in a silent auction from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Live demonstrations of glass casting, glass blowing and other techniques used to make the art are crowd favorites at this event.

“We are excited and also honored to show what our group has accomplished this year,” said Justin Ginsberg, assistant professor in the art and art history department and show coordinator. “This work is their passion, and it really comes through in the art that is presented — and in their commitment to helping the artists that will come behind them here at UTA.”

Featured student-artist is Ray Queen, a wounded Army veteran who served in Iraq. He has been using glass to help battle post-traumatic stress disorder.

“Coming home from combat and into the civilian world was a very large and very difficult transition, and dealing with PTSD, hallucinations and other issues didn’t make things easier for me,” Queen said. “When I found the glass department at UTA, it was like coming home. It’s helped me to deal with issues and to feel human again. I’ve found my voice through art, and I am forever thankful for the program.”

Monic Reynoso is another standout artist whose work will be featured. Reynoso is one of the first paralyzed glass blowers in the nation. Specialized equipment has been created to accommodate her and her wheelchair, and her efforts have helped to raise nearly $8,000 in the past year to support student travel and visiting artists.

“We are fortunate to have in UTA a creative art program that is both educating and preparing artists for the global marketplace,” said Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley, a UTA distinguished alumnus and a glass art enthusiast. “UTA’s glass art program is an amazing point of pride and accomplishment for the university as its students and their work continue to gain national and international attention.”

Funds raised through the one-day-only sale help buy or maintain the facility, materials, equipment, tools and scholarships. Admission and parking are free.

Call the Studio Arts Center at 817-272-2891 for information.

Events at a glance

▪ Easter Seals walk is Saturday at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Walk begins at 8 a.m. and registration starts at 7.

Walk With Me is a family fun walk that helps raise awareness and fund resources for programs that Easter Seals North Texas provides. You will have the opportunity to walk side by side with the clients you are supporting. Easter Seals North Texas has provided services for people with disabilities and their families since 1939. Contact Megan Smock, msmock@ntx.easterseals.com, or register for the walk at www.crowdrise.com/walkwithme2016.

▪ Fort Worth Genealogical Society will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Tandy Auditorium of the Fort Worth downtown library, 500 W. Third St.

The special program on DNA testing will be presented by Roger Cobb. He will demonstrate how DNA testing is another genetic genealogical way to research when paper copies are not available and will explain the three basic types of testing. Contact Judy at theancestrysleuth@gmail.com to inquire.

▪ WineDiscovery is 7-10 p.m. April 9 at Trophy Club Country Club. Hosted by the Metroport and Southlake Rotary Clubs, the event is a night where you can discover lesser-known domestic and international wines with experts available to provide details on grape growers and vintages. Sample and pair food from local vendors, enjoy music and entertainment, silent and live auctions, port and cigar bar on the patio, and raffle and door prizes.

Proceeds benefit scholarships for Northwest and Carroll school district seniors. Tickets are 75 each, two for $140 and 10 for $650 in advance and $85 at the door. Purchase at www.winediscoveryevent.com.

▪ 15th annual Spring Into Nash is 10 a.m.-2 p.m. April 16 at Nash Farm, 626 Ball St., Grapevine. Experience family-friendly fun on the farm as the whole family learns what life was like when Grapevine’s earliest settlers made their homes there. Activities include heritage toys, kitchen gardening, cotton planting, farm animals, tractor-drawn wagon rides, field cultivation, wood carving demonstrations, jump rope making, wood-burning-stove cooking demonstrations and blacksmith demonstrations. To inquire, call 817-410-3185.

▪ Survive and Thrive Annual Spring Plant Sale and Epic Earth Day is from 8 a.m. to noon April 16 at the Grapevine Botanical Gardens, 411 Ball St. The event features drought-tolerant plants, heirloom perennials, butterfly nectar and host plants appropriate for our area. During Epic Earth Day, environment-friendly vendors will give practical demonstrations and entertaining hands-on activities for all ages. Details at www.grapevinegardenclub.org.

▪ 19th annual Zoo Run is at 7:30 a.m. Saturday on a USA Track and Field-certified course along the Fort Worth Zoo’s main pathway and in the beautiful surrounding neighborhood. The timed 5K and a 1K fun run will support the zoo’s extensive wildlife conservation and education efforts locally and around the world. New this year is a costume contest where runners are invited to dress up like their favorite zoo animal. Register at fortworthzoo.org.

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