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Artists reflect on weeklong Festival of the Arts in Oklahoma City

The 46th Festival of the Arts in Oklahoma City ended Sunday night, but artists and art supporters already are thinking about next year and the different types of art it will bring to downtown Oklahoma City.
by Tiffany Gibson Published: April 30, 2012

On the first day of kindergarten, David Canavesio kicked and cried until his teacher brought out a set of art supplies.

He casually picked up a utensil to draw and his cries subsided.

“I thought to myself ‘school's O.K.,'” he said.

Canavesio, 51, of Oklahoma City, is now a local artist who has traveled to many places around the world and painted an assortment of subjects.

But his heart still remains in Oklahoma, especially when it comes to the art community.

“Oklahoma City has become a great art city,” Canavesio said. “This is like the perfect place for an artist to live.”

He said he gained encouragement to pursue art from middle school and high school field trips to the Festival of the Arts in downtown Oklahoma City. For the past six years, he's displayed his oil paintings at the festival, which celebrated its 46th anniversary this year.

“This show is part of life in Oklahoma City,” Canavesio said.

While his classmates were more interested in food or other activities, Canavesio said he was drawn to the artwork. He said he used to approach artists and talk to them about their pieces.

He went on to study fine art the University of Central Oklahoma.

After graduation, he said he spent three years in Europe, exploring and perfecting his craft.

“I think studying art in college is great, but my biggest education has been traveling,” Canavesio said.

Now when schools bring their students through the Oklahoma City festival, Canavesio said he finds joy in being able to encourage young artists.

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by Tiffany Gibson
News Online Editor
Tiffany Gibson has worked for the Oklahoman since August 2011 and is a member of the digital news team. In addition to writing and web editing, she also creates multimedia features for the website and maintains social media accounts. A Tennessee...
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