Oct. 17, 2018
Randy Zellers Assistant Chief of Communications
PONCA – The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Ponca Elk Education Center will hold its 14th annual Color Fest Fine Art Exhibition, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Oct. 19-20. The event offers an open-air perspective of fascinating work by some of the best artists in the Ozarks.
Lauren Cannon, education center director for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, expects hundreds of people to visit the center during the event, as it coincides with bugling season in the area’s elk herd.
“Usually we have about 250 people a day visit the center during the event,” Cannon said. “Some are here for the elk, some are here for the art, but everyone who comes leaves inspired.”
Cannon says all artists who have signed up for the event will have some pieces to sell, but they spend much of their time demonstrating their craft.
“We allow them to sell their art, but it’s an educational event first,” Cannon said. “They may not give instruction per se, but a keen eye can gather a lot of information watching them demonstrate their work.”
Other artists also are welcome to bring their own supplies and join in the extravaganza. The color change in the Ozarks, combined with the picturesque pastures and bugling bulls tending to dozens of cow elk is a sight many people only witness through pictures.
Young artists are always welcome to the event. Special art displays where youth can try their hand at wildlife habitat art will be available.
“We have some art supplies available for the kids and some activities to spur their creativity as well,” Cannon said.
Attendees are advised to check the weather before heading to the event, as it will be cancelled in the event of rain. Unfortunately, artwork and rainwater don’t mix, but the open-air experience of being in the Ozarks among bugling elk is what draws artists from around the region to attend and participate.
As an added benefit, the Little Buffalo River Band will perform Saturday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the event. This local band was formed on the banks of the Little Buffalo River in 2009 and has grown to be a local favorite in the last few years.
Artists featured at this year’s Color Fest include:
S. Allen Smith