15th Margaret Harwell Fall Arts Festival, Coming Up!

Sep 26, 2008

The Margaret Harwell Art Museum is gearing up for its 15th Annual Fall Arts Festival, to be held on Saturday, October 4 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. along Main Street in Poplar Bluff!

“Art on the Run” is composed of the Festival’s wildly popular 10-kilometer event, along with the 1-mile walk/run that Art on the Runfollows it. Over time, the 10K run has come to attract serious runners from throughout the region; the 1-miler has shaped up into “basically a competition between the schools,” according to Tina Magill, director of the Margaret Harwell Art Museum. She adds that Scout troops will have a strong presence in the 1-miler, too.

The area just outside the museum itself will be the center of arts activities for youngsters, and in bothJust outside the Margaret Harwell Art Museum, people gather for children's art projects, such as learning to work on a potter's wheel directions from there, that cobblestone street will feature jewelry makers, painters, ceramicists and other regional artisans. “We’ve got watercolorists, photographers, and woodcarvers, and Fay [Brown] from Fay’s Place will be bringing works by artists who show there,” says Magill. For area artists, she adds, “If you want to show here, we’ll definitely find you a home.”

Friends come to see the sights, sample the wares, and sport nutty hatsAccording to Magill, major sponsors of this year’s Fall Arts Festival are the Missouri Arts Council, Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center, Wal-Mart, and the Friends of the Margaret Harwell Arts Museum, with many smaller organizations contributing to the success of the event as well.

Says Magill, “The Friends board—this is really their baby. Gerry Vandervort is the Festival Chairman,An artist displays her drawings of actual buildings in the region and they’re the ones who run everything that day.”

Vandervort sees the Festival as “a good avenue for the community to come together and just have a great time”.

A cool cat with his clever creationShe reports that music educator Tom Allen is in charge of the entertainment this year, and that his slate of performers will include an ensemble from the high school, as well as dentist/guitar-wizard Dr. Dan Jackson.

The Festival is truly an example of community cooperation in action. “All kinds of church groups help Cat in the Hat toppers were all the rage at the 2007 Fall Arts Festivalwith the children’s hands-on activities, and with the booths,” says Tina Magill. “Mingo Job Corps will be sending students to run food stands,” she says, adding that Scouts also help in this capacity, as do the young men of the high school’s DeMolay chapter. “I think it’s a good way to learn community building. I don’t know that a lot of young people are exposed to that kind of opportunity these days.”

A young artiste adds his own touch to this automotive masterpieceGerry Vandervort has a dear wish regarding the Festival and its potential to bring the community together through the power of art of all kinds. Says she: “In the past, when I’ve been out promoting the Festival, I’ve found that there are a number of people who have actually never been to the Museum.

“Given the size of our city, we are very fortunate to have the quality of work that we are able to show here on a regular basis. So what I’d really like to see is people coming to visit the Museum soon as well.”


(photos provided)

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For more information about the Margaret Harwell Art Museum’s 15th Annual Fall Arts Festival/Art on the Run, please call the Museum at 686-8002.