Artists park work outside for annual show

Patty Burr put her fantasy world on display Sunday afternoon.

That world consists of psychedelic-colored ceramic fish, frogs and even a few eels, all of which were getting attention at the 43rd annual Art in the Park event in South Park.

"It's like turning up the color control on the TV set," Burr said of her mostly clay sculptures. "Kids are my biggest fans, but anybody who is young at heart can enjoy them."

Burr, who makes most of her sculptures during the winter at her rural Lawrence home, has been displaying at Art in the Park for about 10 years, she said.

A total of 115 artists set up displays at this year's event, which was organized by the Lawrence Art Guild. Thousands of people poured into the park area, their vehicles filling nearby parking lots and lining side streets for blocks. Besides artists, food vendors set up booths and musicians performed near the gazebo.

Unlike the past few years, and despite a few sprinkles and a cool north wind, Sunday's show was not cut short by bad weather. Last year's event closed in midafternoon, well before the set closing time of 6 p.m., when a thunderstorm rolled through. It also was the day that a band of tornadoes struck the Kansas City-metro area.

Marion resident Tracy Hett was showing off his crafts in Lawrence for the first time. He had dozens of items made out of copper. Most of his copper crafts are made into something that is related to, or resembles, windmills, wheat or a sunflower.

"I incorporate a lot of antiques into what I do," said Hett, who has been making art from copper for more than 15 years.

Hett said the most popular items he was selling were copper nail crosses.


Mike Yoder/Journal-World Photo

A brisk breeze blows a clothesline of silk scarves around Free State High School senior Loma Pongmee. Pongmee and a group of other seniors participated in Art in the Park on Sunday as part of an independent study project.

"It's been a good day," Hett said of his sales.

While Hett was seeing his first Art in the Park, Topekan Peter Cotorceanu and his wife, Deborah, were seeing their last show for a while. They are moving to Switzerland. They first visited Art in the Park five years ago after moving from New Zealand.

"I'm sort of book-ending this (event)," Peter Cotorceanu, a Washburn University law professor, said.

Deborah Cotorceanu, who also is an artist, said she liked to "encourage the artists" to create and display their work through her visits to the show.

"There's a nice atmosphere here for this," she said.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.