It took a team of angels to make the 49th annual Art in the Park happen.
“I call them my art angels,” said Diana Moxon, executive director of the Columbia Art League, referring to entertainment coordinator Jane Accurso, Web manager Dola Haessig, volunteer coordinator Crystal Payne and the 150 volunteers who organized the weekend-long event that brought more than 100 artists to Stephens Lake Park.
“The art here has always been wonderful,” said Roberta Dunkel, a local artist and art teacher. “I look forward to seeing new ideas, and the artists are always willing to talk with you about their work.”
One thing the event’s organizers were not able to coordinate was the weather. Rainstorms rolled in throughout the day Saturday. The event continues today.
“For the weather, it’s a good turnout,” said Columbia resident Joe Scott as an afternoon shower forced many artists to drape tarps over their booths and patrons to open umbrellas.
“In spite of the rain, a lot of people appear to be sticking around the creative atmosphere,” Dunkel said.
This year marks the second time Art in the Park is being held at Stephens Lake Park. The move from its previous locations of Peace Park and Stephens College allows more vendors, entertainers and patrons to participate. This year’s event includes demonstrations by Access Arts, Les Bourgeois wine tasting and the Children’s Creative Area.
One new feature is the Youth Roots stage, sponsored by the MU Health Care — Art in Health Care Program and KOPN/89.5 FM. The child-friendly area showcases student musicians in the morning, break dancing performances by Poetry in Motion and other entertainment throughout the day.
Courtney Oxman came from Jefferson City with her 4 year-old-son, Logan.
“It is very family friendly,” Oxman said. “All of the different media have been fascinating to him.”
Accurso has observed the evolution of the event over the 14 years she has participated as a member of the Ironweed Bluegrass Band and Art in the Park stage manager.
“I have seen it become more embraced by the community, and Art in the Park become more embracing of the community and what it has to offer,” Accurso said.
Moxon said she expected thousands of people to come to the event over the weekend.
“Art in the Park really is a cornerstone of modern Columbia creativity,” she said. “It is such a well-loved event.”