Nassau Bound by Jim Wilshire

Sailing into its 20th year

Covington Art Fair offers a fresh start to the summer

By Bonnie Blackburn
For the past two decades, talented and respected artists from across the country have gathered on hot asphalt (and it’s nearly always hot) in the middle of a shopping center in Fort Wayne to sell their works from inside white-topped tents that flutter in the breeze.

Their patrons come in droves, oohing and aahing over jewelry and handmade clothing, photographs of far-away places and garden art made from reclaimed dishes.

For those of us who love both art and festivals, the Covington Art Fair marks the unofficial start to summer, and what better way to celebrate than to decorate your house with a fresh, new piece of art? This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Covington Art Fair. More than 75 local, regional and national artists will be at the two-day event, set this year for June 23-24 at Covington Plaza, 6400 W. Jefferson Blvd.

The event began as a way to bring people to the upscale shopping plaza and mushroomed into a leading regional arts fair attended by thousands. It is a juried fair, meaning that artists apply and a jury reviews their work to see if it is of high enough quality to be in the show. Artists in a wide variety of media, from metalwork to pottery to wood to oil painting and photography, are joined by jazz musicians and food vendors who serenade attendees with music and tempting tastes.

The Fort Wayne Museum of Art will be on hand, with museum director Charles Shepard judging the works and offering a lecture to attending artists. The museum has been known to buy works for its permanent collection from vendors during the fair. Five awards are given for excellence and one is given for “best in show.”

And of course, the merchants at Covington Plaza will be open, many
offering sales during the art fair. A gallery is set up inside one of the storefronts for people to enjoy an indoor exhibit, as well as to cool off.

Posted: Thu, 06/14/2012 - 1:20 pm
Last updated: Fri, 07/13/2012 - 2:32 pm