OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Arts Council of Oklahoma City presents its annual Festival of the Arts this week to showcase and connect artists with the community. Those featured artists have all been adults – until now. On Saturday, April 30 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., a pavilion in the Festival of the Arts children's area will be dedicated to the new Youth Art Sale.
Inspired by a similar idea from the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, the new Youth Art Sale encourages the developing creativity of young people in the community, and gives them a chance to earn a little cash for their work. Fifteen local students will present their original artwork during the Youth Art Sale on April 30.
Youth Art Sale artists are between third and 12th grades, living in central Oklahoma, and were selected through an application process. Like the adult artists featured each year, the students will be present to greet potential customers and share their insights on their original pieces.
The Arts Council of Oklahoma City has long been focused on exposing children to the arts and helping them develop their artistic potential, and event co-chairs Ray Bitsche and Kym Mason saw that same commitment when they visited and were inspired by the Pennsylvania Festival.
"The crowds were bigger for the Youth Art Sale than for any other day of their four-day Festival," said Bitsche. "It was evident that Central Pennsylvania truly gets behind its children and youth to encourage them to develop their artistic potential. The artwork on display ranged from hand-illustrated comic books to wind chimes made from recycled flatware, and all the other productions of art you would see in an adult-oriented festival."
Bitsche and Mason say they looking forward to replicating this concept in Oklahoma City and are hopeful that the community's combination of talented youth and support of the arts will help the program grow by leaps and bounds in the years to come.
"What a great way to get children truly involved in the Festival of the Arts, on an even deeper level than participating in our children's activities," said Mason.