GPL Column: A magical celebration of art

This past winter, after much planning and much anticipation, my husband and I were able to take our daughter to Disney World for the first time.

Of course it was magic — full of princesses and larger-than-life fantasy that I got to experience through her wide, bright eyes. Being able to so completely escape from reality and to celebrate the pure joy she felt was everything I had hoped it would be.

One part of the trip that I was especially excited about was experiencing Epcot’s Festival of the Arts. With art demonstrations, lifesize photo ops, colorful decorations and goodies, and so much more it was another example of pure magical celebration. And I wanted to bring some of that artistic magic here to Greenwood.

We knew we were going to celebrate the arts this summer at Greenwood Public Library with our The Art of Reading summer reading theme, so an art festival seemed like a perfect fit. We’ve been hosting Demo Days in our Studio Makerspace the first Saturday of each month for about a year now, and we’ve been blown away by the amazing talent here in central Indiana. It just made sense to bring the many talented artists in our area together to create our own magical celebration.

The GPL Art Festival will be 6 to 9 p.m. June 21. This is an after-hours event that will take place throughout the entire building, as well as outside. On the front sidewalks we’ll have two local chalk artists offering demonstrations of their work, and visitors can add their own chalk skills to the front walk.

In the library’s Butterfly Garden, visitors will be able to add their own mark to our river of color by painting their own rock to add to the community project. Another collaborative art opportunity will be our giant paint-by-number where each participant will be given a small container of paint to help complete our huge art piece. Lickity Slick will be outside as well selling their colorful snowballs.

Inside the celebration continues as we officially open the Tiny Art Show in the exhibit hall — a collaborative art show featuring artwork created on 4-inch square canvases. Spread over both floors, we’ll have more artist demos from a variety of mediums including watercolor, sculpture, fiber arts, jewelry making, and more.

Visitors will be able to watch these artists work and ask questions as they become inspired throughout the evening. Live musical performances will take place on the second floor as well as more collaborative art projects. We’ll have a Handmade Market with several local vendors selling their artistic creations. There will even be multiple photo ops around the building that allow participants to step into some famous paintings.

Whether you’re becoming the Mona Lisa, adding your own splash of color, getting your face painted, enjoying a rainbow snowball, or simply taking in all of the amazing, local talent, we hope that the GPL Art Festival is a way of celebrating the arts that will invoke at least some of the joy, magic, and inspiration that I felt while visiting Epcot’s Festival of the Arts with my daughter.

Valerie Holbrook is the marketing specialist at Greenwood Public Library. GPL staff members share in writing this twice monthly column for the Daily Journal. Send comments to [email protected].