Summer Arts Festival in High Gear

Raising summer fun to an art form, the Omaha Summer Arts Festival opened for business Friday with a weekend of good times in store.

This is the 40th annual festival.

This year’s version got started with jazz on the Luigi Waites stage, plenty to eat and lots of art. With a 135 artists on hand there was a lot to see.

Visitor Tami Doll told us she likes, “the great diversity of all the artists and the quality of their work. And I love kinetic sculptures and that's what drew me to this artist on the end and he's got beautiful fluid pieces."

Artist Fred Conlon’s work leans heavily toward green. “All of this stuff is recycled,” he said. “It comes from Army Navy surplus. It comes from transmission shops. It comes from the junkyard and I take it and I build garden art of it."

Patricia Turner said, “Oh, it's fantastic. So many talented and wonderful artists down here and I have already spent more money than I intended to and I haven't even seen most of it yet."

Artist Jimmy Ellis said, "These are kind of snapshots. This is kind of, you know, dogs being, if they had opposable thumbs, what we thought they would be doing."

WOWT has a booth at the festival and you can make your own art there if you like.

Chelsea Julin told us, “I did not think I would come down and make art so this is perfect. I'm excited to wear it and of course we've made a couple of purchases as well thorough out the day."

Artists we talked to said this is one of the best events they attended.

Larry Budwig said, "It's a great show. It's super fun. It's exciting. Tons of people."

Conlon said, "This has been the best show I've done. Twice now and I've sold more here than any at any other show I do."

Artist Mike Kehr told us, “Even last year in the rain, still very well attended by the town. The city really puts together a good show."

The Artists Market runs until 8 p.m. Friday with the music continuing until 11.

Here’s the full weekend schedule:

Artists' Market
Friday & Saturday: 11am–8pm
Sunday: 11am–5pm

World Music Pavilion State
Friday & Saturday: 11am–11pm
Sunday: 11am–5pm

Children's Fair
Saturday: 11am–6pm
Sunday: 11am–5pm

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