Although fall is definitely approaching, there’s one more summer arts festival left, and it’s a special one as the Berea Arts Fest celebrates its 25th anniversary. Returning to its roots, the Berea Arts Fest will be held on Front Street (from Bagley Rd. through Bridge St.) this Sunday, Sept. 13 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (rain or shine). It will be their largest arts festival to date, with over 120 artists, community organizations and food vendor booths.
“The Berea Arts Fest is such a family environment,” says Berea Arts Fest coordinator and co-founder of 78th Street Studios’ E11even 2 Rich Cihlar. “Not only is it family-friendly, but there is a real sense of community and support from our volunteers to our artists. The artists raffle is one of my favorite spots. Guests have a chance to win 1 of nearly 70+ works of art donated by our artists. Every year the Berea Arts Fest grows by adding a few more artists booths, which is great because our slogan is ‘Let Art Grow.’ I guess we are watering our garden well.”
The festival includes artists working in painting, photography, printmaking, jewelry, ceramics, mixed media, glass, metal works, woodworking and much more. Throughout the day, local artists will be presenting demonstrations: explore Anthony Kleem’s folk art paintings, Jeff Suntala’s watercolors of local landscapes and James Hovanec’s modern twist on traditional blacksmithing and metalsmithing.
Kids can participate in four different take-home, “up-cycled” art projects. Options include a cardboard kaleidoscope with mirror paper and plastic gems, maracas made from spoons and a plastic egg, paper plate tambourines with jingle bells and sparkling lanterns made from a plastic jar and a battery-powered tea light.
Performances will take place from multiple locations surrounding Coe Lake. Bring the little ones to the Kids Kreation Station for interactive arts activities including face painting, a chalk walk, easel painting and more. Local food vendors will offer a variety of ethnic and local foods.
“The music from year to year is wonderful,” adds Cihlar. “I'm not sure what guests expect (cover bands?) but we always try to provide acts that are not ordinary or predictable. We've had experimental orchestras, acid-jazz, tribal-esque music and dance, and so many other diverse sounds. The plan is to really expose all aspects of art: visual art, performance art and other sensory applications. I love the human statue, joyUnspeakable, he fools guests every year and plays harmless tricks on them.”
“One of the great things about the Berea Arts Fest is the variety of art, including performance art,” says Board Member and Chair of the Hospitality Committee for the Berea Arts Fest Jane Palmer. “I’ve seen small children mesmerized while watching ballet or modern dance, possibly experiencing it live for the first time. It’s a joy to see and it’s free!”
As always, admission to the Berea Arts Fest is free. A complimentary shuttle service with a scenic tour of Berea will be provided by Baldwin-Wallace University. It will run from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m, and will pick up guests from the Bonds Building on Eastland Rd. (follow the signs).
(Berea Arts Fest) 31 E. Bridge St., Berea, 440-891-1102, bereaartsfest.org