It was curtains for the Festival of the Arts setup Monday morning in downtown Oklahoma City.
Clear, plastic shower curtains to be exact. Armed with zip ties and a step ladder, Broken Arrow-based artist Rebecca Mannschreck hung curtains to make sure her acrylic paintings would be safe from any rainy weather. Mannschreck said she made sure to bring along a fan and a heater, too, because she’s had a booth at the Festival of the Arts for three years and knows what to expect.
“Rain, sleet and snow I think is what they say,” she said with a laugh. “And then a lot of sunshine. A lot of good people, too.”
As the sound of rain slowly let up Monday morning, the clank of hammers in the festival’s sculpture park took its place. Dozens of artists were lined up along Hudson Avenue preparing for the 11 a.m. Tuesday opening of the Festival of the Arts. A few artists didn’t have to worry about the weather nearly as much as others.
Ron Schmidt’s artwork is made of nails. The Florida-based artist walked from his truck to his booth carrying a metallic palm tree.
“If you can’t see it, you can’t sell it,” he said.
Schmidt said the weather for the setup was a lot better than last year when it was below freezing. That didn’t stop him from returning this year though, and he’s looking forward to sales and the entirety of his seven weeks of touring with his art across the country.
Moore-based artist Mukesh Patel also didn’t let the weather slow him down either.
“I’m glad it’s not raining but my artwork is metal,” he said. “So basically, even if it rained, it’d just give it an extra patina.”
Patel said he was more concerned with transporting his heavy artwork. He motioned toward a piece that was made of concrete and rusted steel, and another that was a makeshift car jack turned coffee table. He said he appreciates how much of the booth is already set up by the Arts Council of Oklahoma City.
However, Patel enlisted help from his friends Jeff and Nancy Barnett. The two secured a lighting fixture to the roof of his booth.
“It’s like hanging a ceiling fan,” Nancy Barnett said. “Jeff does the work, while I hold it.”
As a full-time architect, Patel said he enjoys selling his artwork on the side and doesn’t tour with it. The Festival of the Arts is his opportunity to make an impact as an artist.
“I’m hoping we have a lot of traffic and are looking forward to a great week,” Patel said.
IF YOU GO
FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Where: In Festival Plaza, on Hudson Avenue and at Myriad Botanical Gardens.
Admission: Free. Pets are not allowed.
Information: 270-4848 or www.artscouncilokc.com.