Children inspired by all the colorful and multifaceted artwork at the 2014 Festival of the Arts became artists themselves Thursday at the downtown Oklahoma City event.
They made origami kites.
They created small, biodegradable flower pots.
And they added their own spin to an Oklahoma-themed art sculpture.
The annual Festival of the Arts, featuring art in many forms, has been providing that type of inspirational spark for children for years.
Chad Barnes, of Oklahoma City, said his children, Evan, 4, and Addie, 2, loved making kites and flower pots at the Children’s Art Field in the Youth Plaza section of the festival.
“They usually have something fun for them to do — something for them to take home with them,” Barnes said.
Jackie Moore, a former Oklahoma City resident who now lives in Texas, said she and her husband Eric returned to the metro area just to attend the annual festival. Jackie Moore said her children, Gabi, 5, and Emma, 2, made butterfly-themed art one year and a bracelet another year at the festival.
Thursday, she said both of her daughters have shown that they have green thumbs — an interest in gardening — so the flower pot craft, in particular, drew their attention.
“I love the plant, it’s so cute,” she said. “They’re very into planting flowers so this is perfect for them.”
Alex White, one of the volunteers in charge of the craft station at the Children’s Art Field, said families pay $2 per child for the opportunity to decorate their own origami kite and a biodegradable flower pot.
Thursday, volunteers helped children put flower seeds into their soil-filled flower pots.
White said the crafts are part of the festival’s Go Green initiative.
In another part of the Children’s Art Field, children purchased art at the Young-at-Art Mart. Open to children 12 and younger, the art mart is a place where young people may purchase original artwork ranging in price from 50 cents to $5.
Parrish Whitaker, one of the volunteers working in the area, said children seemed to favor animal-themed art, colorful magnets, rock art and art made out of pieces of tree stumps. He said small children generally chose things almost immediately and tended to be drawn to brightly colored art while older children seemed a little more discerning and tended to enjoy textured art.
Lorie Springer, another former Oklahoman now living in Texas, said her four children, Isaac, 13; Isaiah, 11; Noah, 8; and Chloe, 6, each got to buy something at the Young-at-Art Mart. She said Noah seemed inspired by looking at all of the artwork featured at the festival because he said he wanted to go home and draw.
“So we having some budding artists walking around right now,” she said.
Noah Springer said he chose to buy an ink drawing of a horse because he was looking for something related to cowboys.
“It was really cool,” he said of the art mart.
At another arts and crafts station, children were encouraged to put their own spin on an Oklahoma-themed sculpture.
Kelly Krause, a volunteer at the Creation Station, said children decorated sticks focusing on the question: “What do you like about Oklahoma?”
The children then tied their sticks to a wooden sculpture shaped like the state of Oklahoma.
“For the most part, they’ve really enjoyed it,” Krause said of the young participants.
“I think they like the idea that they are adding to the sculpture — that they are creating something.”
IF YOU GO
The Children’s Art Field and Young-at-Art Mart are located in the Youth Plaza on the southwest corner of the Myriad Gardens. Creation Station is on the southeast portion of the Myriad Gardens.
The festival continues through Sunday.