What: 23rd Annual Arts Alive! Home and Garden Festival
When: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23
Where: Ray Clymer Exhibit Hall, 1000 5th St.
Admission: $6 advance, $8 at the door and Children 12 and under are free.
Information: (940) 767-2787 or artscouncilwf.org/home-garden. See mobile website HomeAndGardenWF.org. for ticket locations and vendors.
“Spring Dreams” is the colorful theme for the 23rd annual Arts Alive! Home and Garden Festival, according to Jane McGough 2020 Home & Garden Chairperson, and is based on artist Cynthia Westbrook’s painting “Fly Fishin.’”
“Our poster this year shows Westbrook’s Mystery Art painting of a frog fishing, and it fits wonderfully well with our Spring Dreams theme with a frog dreaming of catching fish, or flies,” she said with a laugh.
The annual rite of spring Home and Garden Festival is put on by the Arts Council of Wichita Falls and will take place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22 and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday Feb. 23 at the Ray Clymer Exhibit Hall.
Over 140 vendors from around the area and region, as well as Arts Council member organizations and artists will fill 240 booths in the Exhibit Hall and surrounding rooms to show some 12,000 to 15,000 visitors a myriad of different ways to make their homes, gardens and even businesses more beautiful, said McGough.
“There is something in it for everyone, from the very youngest to the very oldest. From kids to great-great grandparents.”
Home and Garden may have begun as a major exhibition about homes and gardens for adults, she explained, but it has developed over the years to include the whole family and feature education for all.
The Education Area in Rooms 8, 9 and 10 will include Natural Grocers doing hourly cooking demonstrations; County 4-H members exhibiting live animals, including rabbits and baby chicks; and area groups talking about gardening in the region and showing people how to plant seeds properly, said Tracy Smith, 2021 Home and Garden Chair-in-training.
Last year’s children’s demonstration of how wheat is ground to get flour brought as many parents as children, Smith said. “People were fascinated because didn’t know how it was done.”
Texoma Community Credit Union will sponsor a children’s art contest in the Activity Center’s Seminar Room to create art that emphasizes recycling, repurposing and reusing. Awards will be made in two age categories.
There will also be fresh produce and crafts in Room 5 from farmers and vendors from the Wichita Falls Farmers Market. Produce will come from such area mainstay farmers such as Morath Orchard, Young’s Orchard and Morath Vegetables.
There will also be homemade soaps and crafts. Every year, the chairs said, the produce and crafts are different. Visitors can look up all of the 2020 participating vendors for the entire event on mobile website at HomeAndGardenWF.org. The website also includes the many different ticket vendors for the event.
“There is something new at Home and Garden every year, something different,” McGough said, including vendors, demonstrations, speakers, products and services.
Home and Garden’s 2020 special speaker, Benjamin Vogt – poet and indigenous naturalist and gardener from Nebraska – will speak on “Busting Gardening Myths” from 10 to 10:50 a.m. Saturday. Chef Kyle Dalka of Progress and Provisions Craft Kitchen will do a demonstration beginning at 8:30 a.m. Saturday morning titled Breakfast Basics (featuring WF Farmers Market vegetables) that will lead into Vogt’s talk.
Vogt will also speak at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21, at the Wichita Falls Museum of Art at MSU for the nonprofit Speakers & Issues Series and lecture on “A New Garden Ethic: Cultivating Defiant Compassion for an Uncertain Future.” The program is free to attend.
Vogt will sign books at Home and Garden and judge the festival’s poetry contest put on the Wichita Falls Poetry Society, a member organization of the Arts Council.
Proceeds from Home and Garden go to help the Arts Council pay for a wide array of promoting art in the region, ranging from the insurance for the Kemp Center for the Arts and Forum buildings to helping pay for distance learning programs and arts camps as well as to help keep the many different classes they offer more affordable for families.
The vendors in the main halls will exhibit products and services ranging from construction and remodeling; lawns, gardening and landscaping; tools and equipment; flooring and interior decoration; crafts and fine art for your walls; and more.
“Home and Garden allows people to get a bird’s eye view of all the kinds of things that are offered locally,” said Jimmy Horany, owner of Texas Pump & Equipment. “You’re shopping here and getting to see all that we and other businesses and organizations offer.”
Home and Garden is a weekend experience of discovery and learning, bringing together both the community, the arts, as well as families.
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