Originally Published: August 6, 2015 7:41 p.m.
It's time once again to treat your eyes and satisfy artistic yearnings as the Mountain Artists Guild's Annual Prescott Arts & Crafts Festival brings color into downtown this weekend. Held on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 8-9, the festival is in its 65th year and will include painters, plus a variety of artists using many different mediums.
Festival coordinator Kelly Cassidy said the guild was started in the 1940s by George Phippen and Mabel Laurence, with the first festival occurring soon after. It is one of the longest running festivals on the courthouse plaza, started to give guild artists exposure and growing quite a bit over the years, she said.
"We have a nice eclectic mix of potters, painters, photographers, jewelers, people who work with glass," she said. "There's a variety of media that really makes it interesting."
But, it's not just art that's going to be at the festival. Cassidy described the Shadowbox Quartet, a group of four high school age girls who play stringed instruments and will perform during the festival. They play everything from classical to rock music, she said. People who go to the festival can stop to listen to them or continue checking out the art while still being able to hear them.
And there's the food vendors, which are at every festival, Cassidy said. However, they make an effort not to have any competing food, so each booth will have a different taste, such as tamales, barbecue, and a Taste of Europe, a new vendor, she said. Festival favorites such as kettle corn and lemonade will also be for sale.
She will consider it a "major win" if the guild takes in an amount on the high side of $25,000, Cassidy said, noting the costs of putting it on.
The festival is free, family friendly and dog friendly, Cassidy said. She called it a unique way to see and experience new art.
"I'm not artistic, but I'm always amazed at the artists and the creations they come up with using various different media ... the ability, the talent to put something together that just looks awesome," she said.
"This is a great place to go where you can view all different types of arts."
One of the artists at the festival will be Vivien Buffa, who said this is her third year. Buffa, who moved to the area from Michigan four years ago, has been sculpting for seven years, which she called "a unique talent that nobody else is doing."
Buffa said she loves coming to the festival not only because she has the chance to reunite with friends she hasn't seen since the last show, but also because of the atmosphere. She said it's nice to see people with their dogs enjoying the festival.
- Jason Wheeler