Celebration of the Arts, May 2-3, Edges Closer

March 3, 2009
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La Verne artist Leroy Lapp dazzles an admirer with his woody and whimsical creations.

La Verne artist Leroy Lapp dazzles an admirer with his original wood carvings.

Could La Verne be the next hot arts district like trendy SoHo in New York City or the Pearl District in Portland, Ore.? The question might be a little presumptuous, but what is art without ego, without vision, without dreaming?

In La Verne’s case, several local artists earlier in the decade were just audacious enough to want a simple venue to showcase some of the city’s local and largely unheralded artisans working in traditional media such as quilting, woodworking and pottery. Grandly named the Festival of the Arts, the event quickly expanded to young and older artists alike, from grade-schoolers to professionals who were invited to share their music, photography, creative writing and other artistic talents with the greater community.

Today known as the Celebration of the Arts, the event organized and hosted by the La Verne Church of the Brethren in downtown La Verne, is just that, a celebration. Last year’s weekend showcase attracted about 300 visual and performing artists and 1,500 people visitors, and this year’s edition, Saturday, May 2 and Sunday, May 3, promises to be the best and most diverse yet.

“The event is truly a community-wide celebration of the arts for people of all ages to share their visions of life, truth, and beauty,” said Eric M. Davis, one of the event’s early organizers and a talented La Verne artist whose work has been featured on several popular television shows, including the current hit, “Chuck.”

Things you won’t find at this community-wide celebration are price tags or blue-ribbons. Both the artists and public come not to barter or buy, but simply to admire and enjoy. It’s an immersion in the arts and an appreciation of the city’s local artistic talent. There is no Olympian jury of art experts to assess or dissect. It is simply an open artistic forum free to both the public and the artists who participate. It is a gathering of the arts – the  people who make art and the people pulled into its vast orbit.

“Our goal,” said Davis, citing the Celebration’s mission statement, “is to provide a showcase for visual and performing artists of all ages, beginning and professional, in which each artist can have their work seen and appreciated in an environment of acceptance and understanding.”

Local artists have until March 20 to submit their applications to participate in this year’s celebration. Selections will be made based on venue space availability, receipt date of application and artist preference. Each participating artist will be able to submit up to six pieces.

For an application or more information about this year’s Celebration of the Arts, visit www.arts-laverne.org or call Patti Ratigan at (909) 593-1364. Otherwise, mark the dates, May 2-3, and the place: The La Verne Church of the Brethren, 2425 E Street in downtown La Verne.

As the celebration approaches, look here on LaVerneOnline.com for fascinating profiles on some of this year’s participating artists.


One Response to “Celebration of the Arts, May 2-3, Edges Closer”

  1. Are you a La Verne artist? pb

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