News Column

Enjoy long holiday weekend filled with art

August 24, 2014

By Marci Creps, Herald-Times, Bloomington, Ind.

Aug. 24--Kyle Spears is very comfortable participating in art fairs.

The Bloomington photographer studied studio arts and art history as an Indiana University student, but it wasn't until his junior year in college that he developed his passion for photography.

"I started doing art shows full-time the year after I graduated IU. So I went from serving tables to full time juried art fairs," Spears said.

But Spears grew up going to art fairs. His father, Larry Spears, is a potter. So Kyle often traveled with his parents to art fairs where he got a chance to play with other kids.

While a student at IU, Spears said he never heard about art shows. But participating in festivals such as the Fourth Street Arts Festival, is a great way to meet art lovers, sell work and even get feedback on the works.

"The amount of people that get to see your work; you can't beat the viewership of people that get to see your work. Some shows that I do get around 200,000 people in two days," Spears said.

The two-day Fourth Street Arts Festival will expose Spears to 35,000 to 40,000 people. Along with selling his art, Spears also enjoys meeting new artists and young people interested in being a photographer.

"I like talking to younger kids who are really passionate about photography. That's always inspiring to see," he said.

This year, Spears had the honor of creating the festival's T-shirt, which features pottery by Jim Kent, a Hoosier potter who passed away earlier this year. The T-shirt design was just another creative outlet for the photographer.

Along with the art booths, visitors can also check out music and spoken word stages.

Tony Brewer of the Writers' Guild of Bloomington said visitors will be able to heard a wide variety of people from poets to fiction to radio theater.

This year's stage will not only feature locals but performers from Kentucky and northern Indiana.

Brewer said he models the event around a similar stage at an arts festival in Ohio. That spoken word stage actually has an audition process.

"I would love to get to that point," he said.

But the group is bringing back one big hit -- poetry on demand. Visitors can offer up a topic or word that will be turned into a poem. At the 2013 event, Brewer said there was a long line at last year's tent.

"I think we had four or five typewriters going at once. Just the sound of it happening, it really draws a lot of people," he said.

No vampires here

And if the 116 artists at the Fourth Street festival weren't enough, there is more artists to view at the third annual Bloomington Garlic Festival.

"Third time's a charm," said Paul Cox, executive director for the event.

While the focus here is garlic and healthy eating, the festival will also feature more than 30 artists and two days of musical entertainment.

The event will be in the Waldron, Hill and Buskirk Park, and if you're not sure where that is, it'll be easier to find this year. Just follow your nose.

"We're going to roast garlic all day, which is new this year, which will bring a little smell to the park," Cox said.

The event is organized by Garlic, Inc., a nonprofit organization's mission is to spread the word about healthy eating through buying and preparing foods that positively affect your health. The event will include information on growing and storing garlic, cooking with garlic and reading food labels.

When it comes to reading food labels, Cox said he emphasizes how bad it is for food to have tongue-twisting names such as monosodium glutamate.

"If you can't read it, you shouldn't eat it," Cox said.

Kids who participate in the growing garlic for kids workshop will also get the chance to sample a garlic chocolate chip cookie.

"They're really good," Cox insisted upon hearing a uncontrolled groan when he mentioned this questionable treat.

But back to the art part of the event. The musical stage on Saturday starts at 10 a.m. with local musicians Ed Lockwood, Jacque Kozzman and Elias McDermott-Sipe slated to perform. Other Saturday performers include Gordon Bonham Blues Band, Jenn Cristy, Fistful of Bacon, Alma Azul and the Dynamics.

At noon Sunday, M & David Roach will perform followed by Hoosier Darling aka Gozpel Gurlz, Curtis Cantwell Jackson band and Soul Street.

If you go

--Bloomington Garlic Festival is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.Aug. 31. Music will continue on the stages until 10 p.m. For more information, check out

--The Fourth Street Festival of the Arts and Crafts is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Along with the art, visitors can learn about a number of community groups. There is also a music stage and a spoken word stage. For more information, visit


(c)2014 the Herald-Times (Bloomington, Ind.)

Visit the Herald-Times (Bloomington, Ind.) at

Distributed by MCT Information Services

For more stories covering arts and entertainment, please see HispanicBusiness' Arts & Entertainment Channel

Source: Herald-Times (Bloomington, IN)

Story Tools Facebook Linkedin Twitter RSS Feed Email Alerts & Newsletters