Blue skies and cool breezes brought brisk sales Sunday to Art in the Park.
Delores Meyer once resented Art in the Park and the thousands of people it brought to South Park every year.
``I live about a block away. I never liked the traffic, but this year I hope there is even more traffic,'' she said Sunday, standing in a South Park pathway packed with art sellers and patrons.
Meyer shifted from annoyed to enthusiastic in the space of a year. Paired with partner Jeanette Hierstein under the banner "Out of the Woods," Meyer sold her painted furniture for children in public for the first time Sunday.
``My godchild had a birthday and I didn't want to shop,'' Meyer said, explaining the origin of the short plywood chairs in the shapes and colors of alligators, elephants and cactuses.
``I made an alligator first. She really liked it. ... What's nice is that I just have a few basic designs, and you can make a lot of different animals from them,'' she said.
One could find at least a half dozen patrons parked in front of the Out of the Woods booth most of Sunday afternoon. Children towed parents to the booth to ogle Meyer's chairs and play with Hierstein's wooden marionettes.
The annual fund-raiser for the Lawrence Art Guild attracted about 9,000 people, organizers said. More than 80 artists exhibited their work, despite the fact the event was postponed a week due to persistent rain.
``We had a lot of artists say they had really good days,'' said organizer Lori Woodard.
Exhibitors credited one of the most beautiful days of the year for the turnout.
``I love this day. It's cool. It's perfect. How could you ask for anything better?'' asked T. Watson Bogaard, behind a table of abstract watercolors.
Ardys Ramberg exhibited work for the sixth consecutive year at Art in the Park.
``I had to take a month off to prepare some work, but it was worth it,'' she said. ``I do it for the little kids. It's a venue for them to experience art where they don't normally see it.''
Organizers also announced the winners of this year's event. Dick Rector and Jim Slough of Free State Glass took best of show.
In three-dimensional work, Danny Meisinger took first for hand-thrown porcelain, and Karen Jacks placed second for collage assemblages.
John Wysocki took first place in two-dimensional art for his color photography. Bogaard won second for her watercolors. Judges also awarded Ramberg a special Most Congenial Artist prize.