Social Eyes by Faye Reeder

Eyes on Arlington: Art and music in the perfect setting at Art on the Greene opening Friday

Art on the Greene kicks off Friday in Arlington.
Art on the Greene kicks off Friday in Arlington. Courtesy photo

Whatever your plans are this weekend, you’ll be missing a great time if you don’t arrange things to include a visit to one of the premiere local art festivals, Art on the Greene. For this fifth-year return, the three-day festival has moved to a later spring date and opens Friday in the beautiful Richard Greene Linear Park in Arlington. It was voted the Best Outdoor Festival in the 2015 Best of Arlington contest sponsored by the Citizen-Journal.

The park alone is worth the trip with its unique setting between the homes of the Rangers and Cowboys. A sparkling lake lies alongside the tree-lined paths, and the Caelum Moor sculptures add a unique aspect to this remarkable park. Among all the wonderful local art festivals, this venue is, hands down, the best.

“Art on the Greene moves to its new dates on May 20-22, and we are excited about the opportunity to have much warmer weather during the event,” said festival organizer Steve Moya. “The park will look perfect this time of year, and patrons will get to experience the festival the way it was meant to look and feel.”

Festivalgoers can browse the work of top-notch artists from across Texas and from more than 15 states. Talented artists in ceramic, drawing, fiber, glass and jewelry will have beautiful pieces available. For the art collector looking for artwork in leather, metal and mixed media: plenty in these categories. And a vast array of paintings, photography, prints, sculptures and wood creations will also be in the artistic mix.

“We have selected 100 of the country’s finest artists to be a part of this year’s event,” Moya said. “Quality over quantity has always been the foundation of this festival. We always strive to bring quality affordable art to Arlington, and I feel we have succeeded once again.”

What’s a festival without music? No problem, because a lineup of amazing bands will keep everyone entertained throughout the event. On Friday, Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin tribute bands will perform. The music starts at 1:30 p.m. Saturday with great bands all day, wrapping up at 8 p.m. with Austin blues/rock singer Carolyn Wonderland taking the stage. Popular with local audiences, soul and funk band Mingo Fishtrap from Austin will be among performers Sunday afternoon.

While guests enjoy the outdoors, sun, art and entertainment, there will also be all manner of delicious food and drink that’s bad for you (and even some that isn’t).

An added attraction this year is the beautiful Entertainment District Sculpture Trail featuring nine amazing sculptures recently installed. Be a part of the ceremonies at 11 a.m. Saturday to celebrate the second phase of the trail.

Admission and convenient parking are free. To see a lineup of the artists and their work along with a schedule of events, visit www.ArtontheGreene.com.

Outstanding Small Businesses of the Year honored at luncheon

The first week of May was National Small Business Week, so let’s hear a round of applause for small business — the backbone of any local economy.

Arlington’s biggest supporter of the business community, the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, needs no coaxing to jump on the bandwagon to celebrate the achievements of these small companies. At the chamber’s annual Salute to Small Business luncheon at the Sheraton Arlington Hotel, three companies were named as Outstanding Small Businesses of the Year.

Mahrouq Enterprises International, owned by Sam Mahrouq was named Small Business of the Year in the for-profit category. The company was founded in 1999 as an auto import business.

Taking home the honors in the nonprofit category was Camp Thurman. The camp was formed as a nonprofit in 1969 to provide summer camps for youths along with team-building camps as well as community outreach programs.

Godwin Chiropractic & Wellness Center, owned by Kenyan Godwin, was named Veteran-owned Small Business of the Year.

“We are proud to recognize the significant accomplishments of our award recipients,” said Michael Jacobson, chamber president and CEO. “Our businesses of the year are managed by bright and highly motivated people who are committed to superior service and making a difference in the lives of people and the entire community.”

The chamber’s criteria for selecting the companies honored include growth, relevant innovation and contributions toward building a sustainable community, said spokesman Henry Lewczyk.

Television personality Scott Murray capably handled the emcee duties at the luncheon as he introduced the award recipients. In a twist, Murray was completely taken aback when he himself became one of the honorees as he was awarded the inaugural Excellence in Media Award. In the future, the award will carry his name as it is annually presented.

To get involved in the next round of small-business awards, contact Lewczyk at 817-275-2613.

Educators honored by Arlington Masonic Lodge

While spring brings warmer weather, spring flowers, spring cleaning and turns our thoughts to new beginnings, it is also a time to celebrate endings. As the school year draws to an end each spring, the timing is perfect for honoring teachers who have nurtured their students and readied them for the next step in their educational journey.

Continuing their longstanding tradition, the Arlington Masonic Lodge recently opened their doors to welcome the community for special ceremonies as six teachers were presented the Teacher of Excellence Awards.

Lodge spokesman Zachary Haston said the awards recognize outstanding elementary school teachers within the Arlington school district grouped by the six high school attendance zones the schools feed. Principals from each elementary school nominate a teacher, and the education committee of Arlington Masonic Lodge selects a winner from each high school cluster after carefully evaluating the credentials of each nominee. Additionally, one teacher is selected from those six to be the overall Teacher of Excellence for 2016.

Congratulations to the educators who were feted at the event: Angelia Casey from Adams Elementary, Colette Ness from Bryant Elementary, Melvin Vera from Speer Elementary, Debbie Burke from Ashworth Elementary and Jennifer Speeg from Wood Elementary. Janet Moore from Dunn Elementary received top honors.

Helping with the presentations were Superintendent Marcelo Cavazos and state Sen. Konni Burton. A cheering audience watched as teachers received plaques, trophies and gift baskets filled with hundred of dollars in cash and gifts.

Haston said the lodge also sponsors programs for junior high students and a scholarship program for high school seniors.

At a glance

Theatre Arlington presents My Way: A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra through May 29. The show is a musical revue that pays homage to the charisma and mystique of Sinatra. The show is directed by Dennis Yslas with musical direction by Jonathan Kennedy and choreography by Joshua Sherman. It features Jeff Wells, Johnathan Hardin, Shannah Rae and Graham Galloway. Performances are Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. For tickets, www.TheatreArlington.org or call the box office at 817-275-7661.

Inspired Women Luncheon Kickoff Event is June 7 at 6 p.m. at Sugar Bee Sweets Bakery, 2410 W. Abram St. Presented by the Women’s Alliance of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, guests are welcome to explore joining the women’s group. The party will offer an evening of networking and insights about the upcoming Inspired Women Luncheon set for November. Register at arlingtontx.com or contact Valerie Landry at 817-861-2129.

Send your Eyes on Arlington news tips to freeder@star-telegram.com. Also, keep up with local events through our social media page. Please like us at www.facebook.com/SocialEyes.ST. Twitter @FayeReeder

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