Artists rule at Park City Kimball Arts Festival
For folks in Summit County, the Park City Kimball Arts Festival is a great party for the locals.
For art lovers outside Summit County, the event returning for its 45th year to Park City's Main Street, Aug. 1-3 is a chance to get out of the August heat and maybe take a weekend getaway.
For artist Todd Anderson, the festival "changed my entire life."
Three years ago, Anderson, who lives in Sandy, was working a full-time job as a graphic designer. "Art has been my passion, but I kind of took the safe route," he said. "I said, 'I make a good living as a designer. What am I going to do? Become a starving artist?' "
Pushed by some insistent friends, he submitted an entry for the 2011 Park City festival. He filed just before the deadline "I went home and snapped photos of what was on the wall in my house" and was surprised when his work was chosen for one of the festival's 200 booths.
Anderson, whose work uses vintage book covers layered with resin, had to work fast to create enough art to hang in a booth. "I just went balls to the wall," he said.
"I did the show, and I got best in show in my category," Anderson said. "I sold more than I made in three months at my full-time job. And four galleries in Park City approached me."
He gave up the full-time job and now supports himself through his art and his work as a freelance designer.
Anderson is one of the returning artists who will display their works in Park City.
"It's a great place to show your work," said Ron Butkovich, a Park City jewelry designer, who is coming back for the 14th time.
Butkovich, who sells his work under the name RSB Designs, creates gold and silver pieces that have a deliberately rough-hewn look. Recently, he said, he's been taking aspen branches from his garden "since aspen is the new state tree," he joked and making molds that he then casts in metal.
Salt Lake City artist Jennifer Worsley has been showing her work at the Park City event since 2001. First it was pastels and plein air paintings, but in the past few years she's been working in woodblock prints.
Worsley said she likes the festival because "it's a place where people feel comfortable and really enjoy meeting artists and buying their stuff."
According to Robin Marrouche, director of the Kimball Art Center (which runs the festival), 70 of the 200 artists in the festival are first-timers.
A jury plows through more than 1,000 submissions, and with a different jury choosing each year, Marrouche said, "you're sure to find something different, [and] the quality of the artists who get in is quite high."
Anderson said he's impressed with the people who attend the event.
"It's a high-end crowd," he said. "People go up there to escape the weather and the heat, but they're also serious art buyers."
For the artists, the festival is also a chance to catch up with other artists.
"I love to look around," Worsley said. "Sometimes it just amazes me the kind of things people want to bring to an arts festival."
"A lot of my friends are artists," said Butkovich, the jewelry designer. "A lot of times, you don't know who's there until you see their booths."
Anderson has made it a tradition, at the end of a successful festival, to go shopping. "I find another artist that I love, and I buy a piece," he said. "It's kind of a way to pay it forward."
The 45th annual Park City Kimball Arts Festival features 200 artists booths, live music, interactive art displays, a children's art area, a chalk-art competition, food vendors and more.
Where • Historic Main Street, Park City
When • 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 1; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 2; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 3
Tickets • $10 for a weekend pass; $5 for children (6 to 17); free for children 5 and younger; Summit County residents get in free on Friday night
Also • Sundance Institute presents a free screening of the musical documentary "20 Feet From Stardom" Friday at 9 p.m. at City Park, 1354 Park Ave., Park City.
Food at the festival
Food also plays a part in Park City Kimball Arts Festival. Here are two ways to sample creative cuisine.
Utah Artisan Tasting • This area at the top of Main Street will feature Utah product tastings including Yee-Haw Pickle Company, Pop Art Snacks, Red Bicycle Bread, Amour Spreads, Millcreek Coffee Roasters and Butchers Bunches jam. A list of all the participants can be found at parkcitykimballartsfestival.org/cusine/utah-artisan-tasting
Taste of Art • 19 Park City restaurants are offering dining specials to festival patrons. Visitors can sample Freestyle Asian Cuisine at Shabu, taste modern Italian pizza at Vinto or relish the unique Mediterranean aromas of Reef's Restaurant. A full list of participating restaurants and specials can be found at parkcitykimballartsfestival.org/festival-events/taste-of-art