Artfest is art-rageously fun


Something special happened last weekend at Twin Lakes Park – art appreciation in the community got a big kick in the pants.

An Artfest for children was a free opportunity for youth to explore art in a variety of mediums without any preconceived idea of what is right or wrong in art or the worry of making a mistake.

Local art instructor Millie Arp helped organize the event and she previously said many of her young students are hesitant about doing art for fear of making a mistake. Artfest was designed so that mistakes were not a possibility. It was big, messy and fun.

Organizers were thrilled with the unqualified success of the event. They had hoped for 100 and more than 200 people attended.

Artfest captured the spirit of the Artrageous performance coming tomorrow afternoon to the Paris Center of Fine Arts. Twenty young artists at Artfest won free tickets via a random drawing to attend the Artrageous performance.

Formed in the 1980s, Artrageous is a theater arts community based outside of Albuquerque, N.M. From their roots of children’s theater and street performance, this group of like-minded and gifted, misfit performers has grown into an international phenomenon, revolutionizing live performance art and interactive entertainment.

The show — comprised of a fresh mix of fine art, live music, singing, dancing, humor and audience participation — is driven by the underlying message that arts are an integral and valuable part of human existence.

While musicians, singers and dancers are performing familiar tunes, visual artists are at work on the stage creating several large format paintings.

Someone in the audience will be taking home a painting created live on stage during the 3:30 p.m. Sept. 15 performance. Artrageous artworks are in public and private collections across the globe with collectors paying upwards of $15,000 for a painting.

The artists aren’t the only ones having all the fun. Everyone in the audience is encouraged to bring a T-shirt, sneakers, ball cap, backpack or other garment and step into the Artrageous Splatter Station at the end of the show to get their gear custom splattered by an Artrageous Artist and leave the show with a one-of-a-kind wearable artwork.