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2013-08-01 / Living

Kiwanis Artfest benefits from 2-day schedule and new facility

BY JOHN MCKEOWN
810-452-2652 • jmckeown@mihomepaper.com


Billy McKee, one of tthe two weavers with the Two Loonies on a Loom, looks on as her 6-year-old granddaughter Paige Smith works on her newly-found weaving skills at the Krystal Arfest. 
Photos by John McKeown Billy McKee, one of tthe two weavers with the Two Loonies on a Loom, looks on as her 6-year-old granddaughter Paige Smith works on her newly-found weaving skills at the Krystal Arfest. Photos by John McKeown SWARTZ CREEK — Last weekend — July 26-27 — the Swartz Creek Kiwanis Krystal Artfest opened to the public in the Cage Fieldhouse.

Vendors from across the state were present to sell an array of art in media ranging from wood to glasswork, from basket weaving to leatherwork, from painting to photography. The art festival is the latest in the Kiwanis's ongoing art event.

The most unique and most wellreceived change to this year's art festival was the venue. Previously, the festival took place in Elms Road park, where the vendors and the patrons were at the mercy of the weather. Attendees had to deal with heat, rain, and intense winds. This year Artfest was protected by taking place in the Cage fieldhouse, a large facility with air conditioning, public restrooms, and plenty of space.

The attendance wasn't quite what was initially projected and hoped for, but Artfest event coordinator Richard Mattson said that he's already gotten positive feedback about the facility.

"The vendors here are making sales, they're happy, they like the venue,” said Mattson. "A lot of them are coming back, they've already expressed that to me."

"We try to come every year and I'm glad it's on the inside,” said Connie Burnett, a Swartz Creek resident and repeat attendee of the event.

Sandra Michon, a basketweaver featured at the festival and winner of “Best Booth in Show”, is as much impressed by the people running the event as the facility.

"People are very, very nice here, the Kiwanis have bent over backwards,” said Michon. “I am just so thankful to them. They are basically at your beck and call if you want it." Michon said that she plans to come back next year.

There was a pizza party held for artists and the staff after the first day the festival was open, and this was a chance for people to mingle and make suggestions for the continued improvement of the festival. Mattson said that the Kiwanis plans to do marketing outside of the local area to reach more artists and patrons. People did suggest that this year's $3 admission fee might have been something worth not doing next year.

The fact that this year's festival was two days was especially well received, according to Mattson. People appreciated having a second chance to visit if they worked or were otherwise busy on Saturday.

The art festival is a yearly event put on by the Swartz Creek Kiwanis. All the proceeds from the event went to Kiwanis projects centered on children.

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