Artists Sunday expands this year

From staff reports

Artists Sunday — a day designed to support local artists, creators, writers and performers — will be noticeably expanded when it takes place in Oil City this weekend.

This year, the fourth in which local and regional artists of multiple mediums will be participating, there will be open studios in the National Transit Building and pop-up shops in businesses throughout both the north and south sides of the city.

As visitors browse and shop, there will be opportunities to see some artists at work and talk to others about their processes and techniques. Maps and a directory will be available at the National Transit Building and at all participating businesses. An electronic copy of the map also will be available on the Arts Oil City Facebook page starting Friday.

Mayor Bill Moon will kick off the event at 11 a.m. Sunday when he reads the city-issued proclamation for Artists Sunday in the grand entry of the National Transit Building, at 206 Seneca St. Shoppers can then pick up a map and start their shopping at any participating location.

After a successful community initiative to support the arts during the 2022 holiday shopping season, an Arts Oil City news release said, more businesses have stepped up to participate this year, with some offering expanded hours and two businesses opening special on a Sunday to host artists. There will be a total of 11 venues throughout the city and over 25 creative participants.

Mediums represented include painting, photography, jewelry, prints and cards, art puzzles, textiles, mixed media art, decorative arts and crafts, comic art and graphic novels, knitted and crocheted clothing items and novelties, painted porcelain, local authors with novels, illustrated books, and fantasy, poetry and children’s books.

In addition to the the National Transit Building second floor studios, host sites include Transit Art Gallery & Gifts, Artist’s Attic, Graffiti Gallery, Wye Bridge Hobbies, Oil City Art & Frame, Baked Goods from Heaven, Williams Insurance, Clifford’s Carpets, Core Goods, and Woods & River Coffee.

Local artist Kaleb Lewis, a recipient of the 2023 Arts Oil City Creative Ventures Grant, will unveil his three-month grant project. He will be rolling out the red carpet for a Hollywood-style event that is free and open to the public.

He earned national acclaim for his special effects makeup and the creation of characters for the television and film industries. He was a finalist on the reality TV show “Face Off” and had a multi-year career in the business.

Since early September, five students have been learning aspects of makeup special effects and the creation of a film character from concept to completion.

Shoppers will have the opportunity to watch the students complete their characters in the National Transit Building. The students will then visit each of the host sites to show off their work. Starting at 4:30 p.m., after shopping hours have ended, there will be a red carpet “Face Off” style presentation and competition in the National Transit Building Great Room.

Attendees will get a behind-the-scenes look at some of the work students have done and will watch live as each character is presented and judged.