Artists bring wares to festival

More than 100 exhibitors expected Sunday in South Park

Jay and Ingrid Alexander describe themselves as maverick artists. They care less about securing commissions and are driven to create the sculptures and paintings that spring from their souls and imaginations.

Jay is a stone carver, working mostly in alabaster, limestone and marble. While he has no formal training, he has diligently developed his skills by trial-and-error and by working alongside fellow members of the Kansas Sculptors Assn.

Ingrid and Jay Alexander will be among about 130 exhibitors at Sunday's Fall Arts and Crafts Festival in South Park. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“I see pieces of stone like you would see pieces of wood,” he said, describing how many of his sculptures have smooth finishes. “Wood is warm. Stone is cold and unforgiving.”

Ingrid, who grew up in Nicaragua and graduated from Kansas University with a degree in mechanical engineering, finds her muse in oils, watercolors, colored pencils and acrylics. Her paintings range from colorful florals to geometric abstracts to Nicaraguan scenes.

“I’ve been painting for about 10 years,” she said. “I like the natural world, but I like exploring my ethnic background and where my heritage comes from.”

The Alexanders, who live on a parcel of land in Jefferson County called Dragon’s Haven, will be among about 130 exhibitors at the Fall Arts and Crafts Festival Sunday in South Park, said Duane Peterson, special events coordinator for the Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department. Festival hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“It’s a time when you can judge the reaction (to your artwork) and talk about your artwork,” Jay said of the festival.

“And it lets you get a feel for what other (artists) are doing,” Ingrid added.

Exhibitors are coming from as far away as Arizona, New Mexico and Louisiana. They will offer pottery, ceramics, weaving, stained glass, leather works, woodcarving, dried flower arrangements, oil painting, jewelry, silversmithing, quilts, baskets, sculpture, seashell art, watercolors, photography, acrylics and drawing.

Peterson said he expected a large turnout for the festival.

“We are looking for a good crowd,” he said.

The 23rd Annual Fall Arts and Crafts Festival will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday in South Park, south of 11th and Massachusetts streets.In addition to an arts and crafts sale, the festival includes musical entertainment, children’s activities, food vendors and the Mass. Street Mile run.The event is free.

The musical lineup is Billy Spears Band, noon; Key West Jazz Quartet, 1 p.m.; Billy Ebeling and The Late For Dinner Band, 2 p.m.; Paul Gray and The Gaslight Gang, 3 p.m.; and Lonnie Ray’s Blues Band, 4 p.m.

A children’s wading pool will be offered from noon to 4 p.m., weather permitting. Other children’s activities are a moonwalk/slide, train rides and a supervised paint-and-play pen.

The annual Mass. Street Mile will begin at 10 a.m. at the Douglas County Courthouse, 11th and Massachusetts streets. Adults and children will run from the courthouse to Francis Sporting Goods, 731 Mass., and back to the park.

Awards will be presented in several age divisions. Entry fee is $12 for adults and $10 for youths under 18.