Paseo Arts District merchants to host Craft Week
By Journal Record Staff
The Journal Record
OKLAHOMA CITY (JR) – Visitors to the Paseo Arts District’s First Friday Art Walk this week will see white raffle boxes in 16 of the galleries and businesses.
Those boxes, and the raffle tickets available for sale at each location, are the first step of Paseo merchants bringing a national celebration of made-in-America craft to Oklahoma for the first time this October.
The tickets will be entries into drawings for more than $3,000 worth of merchant-donated items ranging from gift certificates to jewelry, paintings and more as the Paseo hosts the American Craft Week celebration Oct. 1-16.
“This is an exciting opportunity to join a nationwide celebration of the value of handmade American art and craft,” said one of the event organizers, Sheridan Conrad of A Jeweler’s Art in The Paseo.
More than a dozen art and craft demonstrations are scheduled at an outdoor platform and by participating merchants and galleries on Saturday afternoons, Oct. 1 and 8, taking advantage of the traditional monthly First Friday evening celebration Oct. 7.
Conrad credited Paseo District merchants with helping organize and invest in the celebration as a way to promote art in the community and increase the economic importance of art in Oklahoma City and the state.
“We want to raise awareness of the value of American craft to our community and our way of life,” she said. “Art affects our economy and community and represents who we are as American people.”
Demonstrations will include leather working, pottery, jewelry and much more, Conrad said.
“We’re joining a national movement,” she said. “It’s our opportunity to show the value to Oklahoma of hand-made art, whether furniture, leather, clothing, jewelry, pottery, basket weaving, painting and more.”
Now in its seventh year, American Craft Week is the nation’s largest celebration of handmade American craft, with events in 50 states.
Based on what’s she’s seen in other states, Conrad said she believes the Paseo will be a leader in promoting more awareness of the arts in Oklahoma.
“I expect it to dramatically increase traffic on Paseo, just by enabling families to come down and see art being made,” she said.
She’s already seen national publicity and advertising on the Paseo’s activity.
More information, including a list of participants, photos of artwork, demonstration schedules, and raffle prizes, will be on the Paseo website by clicking on the American Craft Week tab at www.thepaseo.com.