Beliefnet
Beginner's Heart

blue dome festivalArt festivals rock. Really! Tents of cool trinkets to explore, music, junk food (although really: who considers locally  made chocolate gelato junk?), kids with painted faces… What’s not to love?

This week is Tulsa’s MayFest weekend. An old festival (as these things go), the original MayFest has spawned neighbouring (not competing) festivals, specifically, Blue Dome Art Festival. And while they’re separated by only a matter of blocks, the crowd, merchandise, and entire ‘flavour’ are completely different.

At MayFest you can drop thousands, if you have them, on beautiful jewelry, prints, leather, wood-working. Yesterday we saw a piece of hand-worked burl wood — a hanging — inlaid w/ copper that was about 6 grand. Mixed metal earrings by one of my long-time fave artists, Q Miller, start reasonable and climb. 🙂 But the pieces are by artists standing in front of you, who can tell you the story behind each piece and its name.q miller necklace The metals have the print of hammer, the wood the silk of sandpapering.

The same at the Blue Dome Festival, but these artists live in the area. And not all the quality is…well, as polished. 🙂 It’s far more like the early days of MayFest, when international artists didn’t come to Tulsa. We asked our own, and they chipped in. And it was wonderful. Still is. I saw handmade journals, and quartz pieces, and leather, and magic…

I love both parts — the craftsman/artist me loves the quality of work at MayFest, the individual visions shared out in wood and metal and ceramic and ink. The kid still impressed by toys and glitter loves the carnivale of the Blue Dome. Completely different, they’re both part of art and what it does for me.

And yep, there are at least a dozen metaphors here. I don’t think I have to spell them out…:) But just in case, here’s a clue: next year I want to have a haiku booth with a friend. Get your custom haiku — give us 3 words! We’ll use ’em! — for a BUCK!

And I want to have it at the Blue Dome. Where the great tattoos roam, and the shaved ice melts. And parents blow bubbles at their children, who wear painted animal faces…

 

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