View Full Version : OKC Festival of the Arts

04-25-2005, 12:48 PM
I didn't get a chance to visit the Festival of the Arts this year. I'd be interested to hear from those who were able to visit the annual event. Please post your comments here.

Here is an article I got from downtownguy's site (

"23 April 2005
Saturday spottings (largely random)
How successful is the Festival of the Arts? People were willingly parking half a mile to the west, despite this area's reputation as Scary Person Central. (The $3 tab instead of the usual $5 didn't hurt either.) Brisk winds didn't discourage anyone either, from the looks of things.

I escaped from downtown up Broadway, mostly to see if they'd installed Chase signage at Bank One (they had) and if they'd started work on the restoration of the Skirvin (they had). Broadway was closed at NW 4th I'd forgotten that this was the terminus for the Marathon so I ducked back down Dean A. McGee, which between Broadway and Robinson now seems to be an empty concrete gulch, just about the last one remaining downtown.

Back up Walker to see the roundabout at Plaza Court, which is now open, and well, it seems awfully small. Then again, it's not supposed to have multiple lanes; you can't just barrel your way in if there's traffic. It was probably wise to put a stop sign at 9th and Walker, forcing drivers to slow down and look at the darn thing.

The First Commercial Bank building in the Asian District, with its vaguely pagoda-esque architecture, is just about finished, and it teeters right on the edge of self-parody. (And therefore it fits perfectly with the Milk Bottle, the Gold Dome, and other close-at-hand examples from the WTF? School.)

And I came home up May, where the Bank One branch just north of 36th was getting a fresh Chase sign. On a Saturday afternoon, yet. I get the distinct impression that the locals (so to speak) are looking forward to the imminent arrival of their New York overlords"

04-25-2005, 12:55 PM
Please note, that was my reprint of Charles Hill at

04-25-2005, 01:07 PM
Thanks for the clarification downtownguy!

04-25-2005, 01:09 PM
It appears attendance was up this year at the Art's Festival. That's a good thing. I tend to wonder if the 10th Year anniversary of the bombing had anything to do with that. Of course I'm sure the nice weather (no rain!!!!) didn't hurt either.

By the way, if you have any comments on the festival, check out the article below. In addition to posting your comments here, send them to the website mentioned. Your comments could make a difference in future festivals.

"Festival's attendance increases

By Melissa Marchel
The Oklahoman

Despite a somber start, attendance was up at the 2005 Festival of the Arts, officials said.
Photo gallery
NEWS 9 report: Festival wraps up

An estimated 750,000 people enjoyed the food, fresh air and art during the festival's six-day run, said Crystal Radcliff, public relations director for the Arts Council of Oklahoma City.

The festival usually draws an average of 700,000 people per year, Radcliff said.

"It's up a little bit this year," Radcliff said. "If the weather is good, that's when we have the biggest crowds. This year the weather was perfect and the art was perfect."

Opening day of the festival shared the date of the 10th anniversary of the Murrah Building bombing. Many artists showing their work, such as Gillian D. Kemper of Oklahoma City, noticed a more subdued tone on the opening days.

"This has been an odd year because we started out with the anniversary and that certainly affected the first two days. It just changed the way people feel," Kemper said. "The interest is good, though. A lot of people that didn't come out Tuesday came out over the weekend."

Kemper began showing her art at the festival in 1979. Kemper works with watercolors to produce what she described as "eccentric still lifes," and also produces prints. Kemper exhibits at 20 to 24 art shows a year. She said she mainly travels out of state, and welcomes the chance to display her art in her hometown.

This year's festival was the second time for Michael McCullough of Placitas, N.M., to exhibit his paintings. McCullough uses watercolors and acrylics to produce still lifes and landscapes.

"This year has been the same saleswise, and as far as the festival goes everyone's been so nice, as usual," McCullough said.

The number of artists showing in the plaza remained the same this year, Radcliff said.

The sculpture park was expanded, however, with 20 new artists on display.

"That is where we made the biggest change, and the feedback has been very positive," Radcliff said.

Organizers are asking the public for opinions about the festival. Radcliff said comments from will be used in planning future festivals. "

04-26-2005, 12:26 AM
I missed it this year. It's very unfortunate. I will not be here next year, but my wife and I will be in Oklahoma in 2007 for sure for the centennial, and perhaps the Festival of the Arts