The Friends of the Library is prepared for the annual Art in the Park event on Sunday. Cindy Mack (left), president of the Friends of the Library, Shannon McClure (center) and Monica Kanouh pose with some of the signs at Defiance Public Library. The event will run from 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. on June 26.
The Friends of the Library is prepared for the annual Art in the Park event on Sunday. Cindy Mack (left), president of the Friends of the Library, Shannon McClure (center) and Monica Kanouh pose with some of the signs at Defiance Public Library. The event will run from 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. on June 26.
At the confluence of the Maumee and Auglaize rivers and after 40 years of celebrating the arts in Defiance, Art in the Park makes it return this year.
A perennial favorite among locals, the event returns on June 26 at the fortgrounds after a break due to COVID-19. And this year’s celebration offers some familiar favorites as well as some special additions.
Attended by local artists who work in different media from painters to musicians and more, this artistic outlet promises to offer something for everyone’s enjoyment. Cindy Mack, president of the Friends of the Library and one of many organizers for the event said said that this year there are about 45 artists from the six-county area who will have displays.
She spoke recently with The Crescent-News about the upcoming event.
“Art in the Park is an annual event — well, except when we have a pandemic,” said Mack. “And it is used to support the Defiance Public Library programs and projects. There has been a lot of planning for this year because of the 40th anniversary but also because we have returned after a brief break due to COVID. We are really looking forward to it this year and have some of the usual things lined up with some really creative displays as well.”
For listening entertainment live music will start at 11 a.m. with Muddy Shutters, a musician and songwriter from Toledo whose sound resides in southern rock, pop, folk and blues.
At noon, Tom and Brooks will perform followed at 1 p.m. when Defiance singer/songwriter Brad Burkhart brings his music influence from folk, country, pop, rock and blues.
A favorite with the Defiance set, Bud Widmer’s Rube Band will take the stage at 2 p.m. before Kevin Clark will finish out the musical entertainment at 3 p.m.
While at the event, attendees on the west side of the library will have a chance to get something to eat or drink from local vendors: Maverick’s, Frank’s Fries, Kona Ice and Bud’s pie for dessert. At 2 p.m. in the food court the Second Street Strings will perform their music.
Mack is pleased with the response from local vendors.
“We have some great food vendors planned — all local favorites. We do, however, have a few slots available if any other food vendors would like to join us. They just need to contact us and we can get them added to the list,” Mack said earlier this week.
As with past years, Mack says the Friends of the Library group will have a large tent of books for sale.
“The selection this year has been newly restocked and it will not disappoint,” she added.
There are also many opportunities for youngsters.
“To keep the kids entertained, we have lots of activities. Each hour starting at 11 a.m., a guest reader will read a popular children’s book. Crafts, snacks and prizes will follow each reading. This year we also have a guest author who will read and sign her books. Just look for the pair of friendly llamas,” Mack said with a chuckle.
The kids will also have the opportunity to get a tattoo, face painting and popcorn as well as build something with blocks.
“There are lots of things for the kids to do,” she added.
For the celebration there are two new displays added, according to Mack.
“This year we decided to expand the mindset of who is an artist and try to help others see that art doesn’t just include arts and crafts,” she explained. “The new display this year, ‘Defiance Artists’ features local individuals who have taken their artistic skills and made them into a unique hobby or career. In the exhibit we have included 10 people who have used their artistic talents to write a book, or to become a storyteller, or musician — the examples are really endless.”
At the display is a table with biographies of the 10 people highlighted and their accomplishments through their own artistic talents.
“We even ask for people to write down names of individuals that they think are talented and need to be recognized. We want this kind of display to continue from year to year. So we will collect all of the names that people have submitted and see how to include them next year,” said Mack.
The second display is a couple local authors, Trish Sanford-Speiser and Rich Rozevink, who have published and will have them available. Sanford-Speiser and Rozevink will also be signing books at the event.
Capping off the celebration, at 3:30 p.m. in front of the fortgrounds near the street, Mayor Mike McCann will make a proclamation to celebrate the 40 years of Art in the Park, 75 years of Society of Artists and designate June 26, 2022 as a ‘Day of the Arts’.
As with many anniversary celebrations, cake will be served.
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