Monday, June 7, 2010

Festival of the Arts 2010

This weekend extravaganza had something for everyone - art, music, entertainment, and yes - food! Food vendors lined the street and hawked their wares. Many had a person out front of the booth offering enticing free samples. Just the names of some booths were entertaining enough: Great Wisdom Meditation Center - Krishna Consciousness - Free Spirit Worship Center. Such promises!
Performers were everywhere; if not on the stage, they were waiting in the wings. I found tiny dancers that I have to say sort of creeped me out; they were so made up and so young, six year olds that brought to mind Jon Benet Ramsey. More interesting was a 30-something-year old dancer adjusting her leg brace under her long dress. We both laughed but no picture was allowed.
Unofficial vendors and performers popped up here and there. When I sat down to eat my souvlaki, the bench down from me on Monroe Center had a hawker and associate trying to sell candy bars and pop from plastic bags. I did not witness any success and when the associate moved to my adjacent bench, I moved on to Rosa Parks Circle. There I found a little group gathered around a woman seated on the grass, selling paper flowers. Besides her flowers, she was over-exposing her expansive cleavage and I wasn’t sure what was really bringing in the sizable crowd. The audience for the concert was sparse here at lunchtime and heavier at Calder Plaza, where unofficial street dancers also populated the area.
Two large tents on the Calder Plaza protected a myriad of variable art/craft booths, some more interesting than others. Juried art was found in the Old Federal Building, some amazing and some not so much. Lovely live music drifted down from the second floor, and all in all, it was a wonderful sensory experience. Interestingly, taking pictures was allowed in the building, but not in the artist tents. Even so, I felt a little uncomfortable taking them. So I compromised with my conscience and didn’t use the flash, and took just a few. Pictures of the artists and their works would have been more interesting but they were more protected than the juried work.

On my way out, I passed a boy holding a "Free Hugs" sign. He and his friends were standing on the corner, watching girls go by, and waiting for reactions. You can see by the looks on their faces, they were receiving some.
One of my favorite parts of festival is people watching, and those working the booths provided some of the most interesting photos. I hope you enjoy them.