Get Ready for Impressive at Annual Edom Art Festival


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V. Chin’s ceramic vases are favorite finds at the annual Edom Art Festival.

The tiny town of Edom, Texas, is a tourist destination going back many decades. It is quaint and exceedingly colorful. Every weekend the population swells as visitors come to shop the resident artists’ studios and an array of eclectic shops. In October the numbers balloon into the thousands for the annual Edom Art Festival. Now in its 46th year the festival is a juried event of exceptional art and craft makers. This year it takes place October 13 and 14.

More than 60 art booths are spread out across the meadow in downtown Edom. This idyllic location is a natural setting for artistic creators to show their wares. The pace is unhurried, so visitors have time to appreciate details such as Anne Felmeir’s landscapes that are glazed on a cup rather than painted on a canvas and marvel at the beautiful woven textiles by Gloria Haefner-Gatti. She considers them tea towels — her customers often use them as statement pieces on the dining room table rather than for their utilitarian intention.

While many of the artists make pieces that are useful and beautiful, there are others who made the short list of invited artists because their work is just flat out exquisite. V. Chin’s ceramic vases, and the cloisonné jewelry of Bill and Lisa Bailey both have historical precedence but manage to be as much of this time as pas times; which is what makes their work compelling.

William Morris, a celebrated 19th century designer and key figure in the Arts and Crafts Movement, said, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” It’s good advice, when starting out with your first home, collecting for your now home, or downsizing from your big house.   

Morris would approve of the Edom Art Festival where everything is either useful or beautiful and often both, handmade by the artists who are on site. Morris was also a staunch supporter of the handmade. One of the great joys of shopping art festivals is getting to meet the artists — shoppers know they are purchasing one-of-a-kind pieces, and helping support artists. Patronage is a very rewarding experience.   

Musicians and food venders are at the festival for day-long enjoyment. This year’s food options include Double Barrel Dessert Company with their small batch gourmet ice creams; the Say Cheese food truck with a variety of grilled cheese sandwiches; Caribbean Isle food truck; Zemer Root Beer, now served by a third-generation Zemer; Marks the Spot, roasted and flavored pecans; and Fiddle Stix, a food truck serving up all their offerings on a stick.

White Fox Winery and Green Goat Winery, two local wineries, are serving liquid libations, while Kaitlin Monty offers handmade chocolates and cheese boards so there is no reason not to stay for late afternoon imbibing.

The Edom Art Festival is family-friendly with a children’s art area. Finished artworks can join the growing gallery of site-made creations from years past, or they can be taken home to become an addition to the refrigerator gallery.

Admission to the festival is free and the grounds are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Downtown Edom is 20 miles west of Tyler at the crossroads of FM 279 and FM 314. Go to www.visitedom.com for more information.

 

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