Enjoy Fine Art at the 2014 Edom Festival



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The small East Texas art community of Edom readies itself for an influx of visitors for its annual Edom Festival of the Arts.  Fine art, fine crafts, live music and great food fill the festival grounds behind the resident artists’ studios on the one main street in town, Farm to Market Road 279.  The festival is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, October 18 and Sunday, October 19.

This juried show is known for having high quality, handmade, original art and crafts. There is a wide variety of creative works such as painting, pottery, jewelry, sculpture, weaving, clothing and blown glass. Visitors express surprise at finding exceptional art in the middle of a meadow located in the center of this tiny hamlet.

A sampling of this year’s artists follows.

C.J. BRADFORD

C.J. Bradford is a professional artist for more than 30 years.  He works primarily in pen and ink, but is also known for his softly tinted watercolors. 

The inspiration for his work comes from a lively imagination, a love of symbols, and the lessons and stories he receives from his study of the Bible.  The combination of these influences has created a truly unique style.

C.J. refers to his art as “visual conversations” and states, “Many of my works are simply whimsical — intended to surprise and bring joy. Most are visual puns. Some, however, are very close to my heart and reflect more deeply the joys and sorrows of my own life and the lives of my friends and family. Some of these are whimsical, as well, and are intended to serve as a kind of “conversation” between you and me.”

LONNIE ROBINSON

Wagon Wheel Forge and Gallery is owned and operated by Lonnie and Linda Robinson.  Lonnie is in the business of twisting and bending metal now for more than 45 years.  The youngest of his four sons, Joseph, has apprenticed with his father for several years and has created his own blacksmithing art  Lonnie performs many demos throughout Texas, being a regular at festivals and art shows like Edom.  In each show he uses a forge to create art.

When the coals are glowing and the bellows are blowing, the iron glows red hot and then the ring of hammer blows on the anvil signaling the beginning of creation.  Hammering, twisting, turning and bending transforms raw metal, almost magically, into a flower, spoon, fork, knife or artfully shaped hook for holding a favorite pan or utensil.

Working with children is one of the highlights of doing demos.  There are children, young and old who are intrigued with the art of blacksmithing as well as the forge and anvil.  Educating them on the history, as well as what can be accomplished today with blacksmithing, is very inspiring to Lonnie, as well as onlookers.

BILL and LISA BAILEY

The Baileys are professional “art jewelers” who combine the ancient craft of enameling with contemporary metal work. When they enter their studio each day, originality in design and a variety of jewelry techniques are their inspiration. Their creative goal is to never reach a plateau and to always keep their work fresh.

They live and work in Dripping Springs, Texas, and Cambria, Wisconsin.

All of the hand fabrication for their work is tedious and time consuming.  Each piece goes through several hands-on steps.  First, the enameled piece is created and fired several time in the kiln at high temperatures.  During this process, the metal parts are constructed and polished.  When the pieces are assembled as one, a fabulous piece of jewelry is ready to wear.  The focal point is a brightly colored cloisonné paired with contemporary metal work. 

Their latest work uses a mix of metals, enamels and semi-precious stones to develop different hues and shapes, both organic and industrial.

In addition to great art, the festival offers free concerts throughout the weekend.  Acoustic musicians roam the festival grounds playing traditional Americana music.  Harpists entertain with Celtic music, while on stage a variety of Texas musicians play and sing original songs.

    New this year is an “Emerging Artists” area with students from the University of Texas at Tyler and Dallas County Community Colleges presenting their creations for sale.

     The festival provides fun for the entire family.  A kid’s art area is free and helps children express their artistic talent through painting.  They can take their masterpiece home with them, or donate it to become part of the festival gallery.  Paintings and murals from previous years decorate the festival grounds.

     Food vendors provide standard fair food including corn dogs, nachos, sausage-on-a-stick, hamburgers, fried Twinkies, funnel cakes, and much more.  Zemer’s homemade root beer with their delicious, frothy beverages returns as well as the popular Cajun gumbo and frozen tropical sorbet.

     Admission to the festival is free.  Handicap access is available at the gate located at the corner of FM 279 and FM 314 South.

     Edom is located halfway between Dallas and Shreveport, 20 miles west of Tyler.  Take exit 540 off Interstate 20 and drive 10 miles south to Edom.  More information and driving directions are available on their website www.EdomFestivaloftheArts.com

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