Creative Arts Festival offers new Art Challenge
The first annual Art Challenge is one of several new events that is part of this year’s Otsego Creative Arts Festival.
Organized by the Otsego Plainwell Area Chamber of Commerce, the 32nd annual day-long festival will add the Challenge to an already packed lineup.
Chamber director Jenny Boerman said it was exciting to see the event grow and offer new things.
“It’s good for festival, good for public, but first and foremost, it’s good for our local businesses,” she said. “We wanted to get people in their doors.”
To that end, the Art Challenge will take the nearly 40 pieces of art submitted to the chamber and hang them inside downtown businesses. The public then votes online for the piece they love that most fits the theme: “Small Town Michigan.”
“Each piece will have an artist statement that explains why it fits the theme,” Boerman said. “Allegan General Hospital sponsored a grand prize of $500 for the winner.”
The Art Challenge officially begins at the kick-off party Thursday, Sept. 26, from 5 to 7 p.m., when the artists will be on hand to chat with the public. The 10 participating downtown businesses will have Art Challenge signs displayed on the sidewalk. For more information on the kick-off, call (269) 694-6880 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Voting begins on Friday, Sept. 27, from noon to 4 p.m. and again the morning of the festival, from 9 a.m. to noon.
To vote, visit www.menti.com and use the code "18 59 04" (include the spaces). The winner will be announced at 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon.
“The variety of art that has been submitted is amazing,” Boerman said. “We have paintings, yes. But we’ve also gotten a 12-inch cookie decorated so well you can’t even tell it’s a cookie, a quilt, a kind of wall-hanging piece of woven fibers, another is ripped-up old wallpaper that creates winter scene. There’s an inchworm sculpture that’s 10 feet long that has a saddle on it. The artists really surprised me.”
The Art Challenge is just one new event. Another will be a Kids Makers Market; see next week’s issue for more on that.
The day will include the many other events crowds have come to expect as well, including the classic car show, tractor show, First Baptist Church’s Friendship Festival at a parade.
“We also have over 50 art and craft booths this year,” Boerman said. “That’s about double what we had last year. They will be on North Fair Street, so they’ll have a lot more room and get more traffic. About 20 of them are indoors at the Masonic temple.”
She said it’s shaping up to be another exciting year.
“Already we’re expecting at least 225 cars for the car show,” she said. “And we’ve also got the Dark Knight of Michigan coming from noon to 2 p.m.”
“The tractor show is expected to be very large; they will be on Farmer Street, appropriately enough.”
Here’s the lineup:
8 a.m.: car show registration
• antique tractor show
• car show
• motorcycle registration
• Family Festival at First Congregational Church, 120, W. Morrell St., including petting zoo, games and food (through 4 p.m.)
10 a.m.-3 p.m.:
• Home Depot Kids Adventure Zone in Winkle Funeral Home parking lot
• Kids Makers Market, United Methodist Church parking lot
10-10:30 a.m.: Plainwell Choir performs at four corners downtown
10-11 a.m.: Thirsty Land Bluegrass Gospel band, United Methodist Church parking lot
10 a.m.-noon: turtle races, Winkel Funeral Home
10:30-11 a.m.: accordion duet with Caleb & Turner, four-corners
11 a.m.-3 p.m.: Otsego Baptist Church Friendship Festival
11-11:30 a.m.: Rhythm Master Cloggers, four-corners
11:30 a.m.-noon: Dance Kraze
• Cutest Pet & Costume Contest
• winner of Pet Mayor Election announced
12:30 p.m.: Parade & Pet Parade lineup
1 p.m.: Parades begin, heading west along M-89
1:30-2 p.m.: M-89 Sports Bar Country Line Dancers
3 p.m.: Art Challenge winner announced
3:15 p.m.: Motorcycle Awards
3:30 p.m.: Car Show Awards
Contact Ryan Lewis at email@example.com or (269) 673-5534.