The 44th Annual Paseo Arts Festival will take place Memorial Day Weekend, May 23 and 24 from 10a.m.-8p.m. with live music until 10p.m., and May 25 from 10a.m.-5p.m. Visitors will enjoy almost 100 nationally acclaimed visual artists, who fill the Historic Paseo Arts District with original artwork: everything from painting, ceramics and photography to woodworking, glass, sculpture and jewelry.
Voted Best Free Entertainment in Oklahoma Gazette’s 2019 Best of OKC, the festival is famous for its more than 50 musicians and live performers on three stages who donate their time and talents to support the Paseo. The food court is better than ever and will feature 20 food and drink vendors with traditional and not-so-traditional festival treats, both savory and sweet. Think gyros, monster wraps, Indian tacos, grilled sirloin on a stick, fried tacos. A variety of craft beer on tap and in a can, as well as staple Budweiser products will be available.
The creator of this year’s featured festival artwork is artist Jerry Bennett, a full-time illustrator creating comic books, children’s books and shirt designs for licensed brands such as Lucasfilm, Marvel and DC. He was selected as the 2018-2019 SPACE Artist in Residence at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel. “Jerry was such a strong representative of the arts community in Oklahoma City while he was our SPACE artist,” said Amanda Bleakley, executive director of the Paseo Arts Association. “Partnering with him for this year’s featured festival artwork was a no brainer.” Inspired by Paseo Arts District landmarks and architecture, Jerry created a piece of art that looks to be straight from one of his graphic novels. His work is to be featured on t-shirts that festival goers can purchase, as well signed archival prints available in two sizes.
Official artists of the Paseo Arts Festival display a lime green Paseo Arts Association flag, indicating their selection through a competitive juried process and support of the organization’s largest annual fundraiser. The money raised through beverage and merchandise sales directly supports the mission of the 501(c)3 nonprofit, and is used to put on your favorite Paseo programs and events provided to the community year-round, such as Fairy Ball, Magic Lantern, SPACE, FEAST and First Friday Gallery Walks. Another festival, which features arts, crafts and souvenirs, runs adjacent and concurrently in the neighborhood, but is not associated with the Paseo Arts Festival.
The free children's area allows future artists to explore the arts and have fun while creating and is located at the corner of 29th and Dewey. What makes the Paseo Arts Festival happen? Volunteers – and we need a lot of them! Sign up at thepaseo.org/festival. Shudder at the thought of parking? Get shuttled in style on a Village Deluxe Motorcoach, which will run a continuous route from the free parking lot at First Christian Church at NW 36th & Walker, and drop you off at the north end of the festival at 30th & Dewey. Shuttle hours are 10a.m.-10p.m. May 25 and 26 and 10a.m.-6p.m. May 27.
The Paseo Arts Festival draws tens of thousands of people who come to enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of this annual Oklahoma City tradition. It is the Paseo Arts Association’s largest fundraiser, enabling the organization to offer arts programs and events in the Paseo year-round. The Paseo is OKC’s Unique Arts Destination. Dozens of galleries, restaurants and shops stand in distinctive Spanish Mission Revival style buildings, all within walking distance. The Paseo Arts District is located between Northwest 27th and 30th Streets and Walker and Lee.
For more information visit thepaseo.org or call (405) 525-2688. For daily details, follow us on Instagram @paseoartsdistrict, Facebook @paseo.artsdistrict and Twitter @PaseoOKC.