A unique variety of local artistic expression at annual Phoenix Festival of the Arts

Photos by Mita Andary

Mita Andary, Reporter

Local artists, art enthusiasts and others gathered for The Phoenix Festival of the Arts 2018.

The event which took place at Margaret Hance Park Dec. 7-9. Arizonans showed up at the yearly event and it is estimated that hundreds were ready to visit early on opening day.

There were food trucks, live music, a family zone, murals, art vendors, and beer & wine. This festival featured over 150 local art vendors.

Lauren Henschen, Chair of the Phoenix Festival of the Arts, mentioned that there were more than 150 vendors this year—a larger number compared to last year with at 130 vendors and 90 percent of these vendors are all local artists.

Henschen explained a few of the differences at the festival this year.

“The size first of all, we also brought in a local winery to be like our wine provider, cause there is a great wine company is our new wine partner, Arizona made wines, we used to get sort of domestic wines, but we try to make the festival as locally focused as possible,” Henschen said.

The art vendors included, ceramics, craft, jewelry and metals, leather, mixed media, painting and drawing, photography, sculpture, textile design, wood, and writing.

There was a bigger variety of food vendors that included such Sonoran Sunset Grill, Cousins Main Lobster, StrEAT gyro, and many more.

Also, many performances were enjoyed by local artists and singers which is divided into three stages, such as main stage, soliloquies acoustic stage and the entertainment pavilion.

The number of the visitors have grown about 50 percent each year since the first time it was held in 2011. This year it attracted more than 3,000 people in the first day of the event, and was expected to tally about 12,000 thousand visitors.

One of the performers, Danielle Durrack, explained the event is perfect in the way of supporting local community, she has previously performed in this event and she decided to give another performances this year because this event helped her meet so many creative people in the Valley.

“I think It is a great way to build a community, what I like the most about the event is the community, I feel like bringing artist together, and I feel like really cool things happen when you get a bunch of creative people together,” Durrack said. “It seems that this year event is a little big bigger, they definitely have more vendors this year and more stages, it seems that it’s growing,” she added.

The event really started as a student arts show with about only 10 – 12 tents and a place where students could sell their artwork throughout the year. It grew exponentially each year.