Amidst the oohs and ahs of excited fair go-ers and future artists, the local art scene gets in on the old southern tradition of the annual fair with the arts and crafts exhibit at the East Texas State Fair.

Soft yells of “Daddy look” and “That’s awesome” came from the small groups of families walking around the stuffy building in hot mid-day.

The fair is almost art itself with blinding neon lights, bright colors and a whirlwind rush of sounds and smells. People come out to experience this because it is a feeling they just cannot get anywhere else.

The fair comes every year and most East Texans know that means rides, games, greasy food and good times. However, the fair is also a great opportunity for local artists to show off their talents.

East Texans shared in the community tradition of canned pickles and crochet along with TJC faculty and student submissions.

In a glass case with a red second place ribbon attached to it, a hand-sculpted extured clay jar with a dotted glaze around the sides was displayed by student Brandon Scott.

“I wanted to represent ceramics for Tyler,” Scott said. “I wanted to be involved in the community and I knew the community goes to the fair. I wanted to make my artwork known.”

Another student submission of Joan Iverson stood near her current ceramics teacher Jake Allee’s second place vase.

“It gives you exposure and supports your community. I learned that from Jake Allee,” Iverson said.

Joan said she began working with 3-D mediums through woodcarving, and weaving and then moved on to ceramics.

Cookie Young a spokesperson for the East Texas State Fair said small prizes were even given for first and second place pieces.

There are divisions for children, pre-teens, teens and adults, in categories from art and photographs to stamp collections, canned goods and quilts.

There are even divisions for people with special needs to submit their crafts and art to be displayed for the community.

In this hot, stuffy building, people still came out to appreciate the talents of local collectors, quilters and hobbyists taking advantage of their opportunity to display their work.

“Look,” said a fair go-er to his excited daughter. “Maybe you’ll be an artist one day?”

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