Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Inaugural Creative City Festival Showcases Local Talent

The Glass City’s latest arts event debuts this Star Wars Day. Creative City Festival is a juried art show featuring food trucks, live music, local vendors, spoken word/poetry performances and more.

Co-coordinated by Shannon Eis, Mary Jane, Erard, Andrea Hernandez, Miriam Wagoner, Jonie McIntire, Rose Letherby, and Dawn Bucklew—a veritable powerhouse of creative Toledo women—it promises to showcase our city’s best artistic “stuff.”

“There are not enough opportunities for artists, musicians, poets and writers to engage with the public,” Eis says. “This is a great way for makers to sell what they’ve made in Toledo right here, in Toledo.”

They hope to ride this year’s success into making Creative City Festival an annual event:

 “We hope everyone can come out to see, hear, and buy everything us local creatives have been working on so we can do it again,” Eis adds.

Beyond supporting local art, part of the show’s proceeds go to Fur Angels Rescue Shelter, a Lucas County no-kill shelter for dogs and cats.

This Year’s Jurors:

Mary Jane Erard: 

Mary Jane Erard is an award-winning artist painting mostly in soft pastel and mixed media with acrylic. Her works are usually rural landscapes of the US and Europe. In addition to her painting career, Mary Jane is a sought-after art educator in Ohio and Michigan. As a working professional artist, Mary Jane offers helpful insight to private students who are looking for both art instruction and helpful career advice in the visual arts.

Randy A Bennett:

Randy A Bennett is an artist living and working in the Rudolph, Ohio area who has been painting for 55 years. His work is based on social realism with a little “POP” influence. Advertising and ephemera of a time or place tells a lot about society, so he usually includes something in his work to reflect that with his goal being to be distinctive, well-executed and difficult to ignore.

Christopher Pickett:

Christopher Pickett is a self-declared artist, father, husband, brother, son, uncle, atheist, independent progressive, adventurous human whose art speaks for itself.

Live Performances and Good Food

If art alone is not enough to convince you to stop by (but, seriously, Toledo has some of the Midwest and beyond’s finest artists), the festival includes live performances by great local musicians, including Ryan and Asher Roth, New Moon Band, Red Eye to Vegas, Agatha Haag and O Odious Ones. Jonie McIntire, Lucas County’s current and first female Poet Laureate, is organizing poetry and spoken word performances. 


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Two iconic Toledo food trucks will provide food throughout the event: Old Dad Tacos and Maybe Cheese Born With It, and to help visitors get through the night, Wandering Bean Coffee Co will be percolating some of the area’s boldest java and tastiest sweet treats.

The “Where and When” Details

Creative City Festival will be held on May 4 from 4 pm to 11 pm, with vendors open for business until 9 pm. The address for the event is 124 10th Street, and admission and parking are both free. Come for the art and stay for the fun, because the art is strong with the Glass City.

Artist and vendor applications are open through April 19, with a modest fee of $25 for 2D and 3D artists and $35 for vendors. Any art entered into the juried show must be of the artist’s own creation. Any questions or inquiries regarding submissions can be directed to creativecityfest@gmail.com.

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