Arts on Central, a celebration of the visual and performing arts, will return to downtown Orange City Wednesday, Aug. 24.
Now in its second year, the free interactive arts fair concludes the weekly summer series Onstage Orange City, sponsored by Orange City Arts. Streets will be blocked off starting at 4:3pm, and local artists will entertain on the street and in businesses. The evening will include music, poetry, visual arts, puppetry, chalk art, dance, children’s activities and a live mannequin contest.
Artwork on display will range from paintings to quilts to woodworking, with some items for sale. There will be demonstrations of such artistic techniques as painting with beeswax, using alcohol inks, and working with watercolors. Those interested may also create their own art with the help of artists who specialize in tie-dye, stencils or block printing on fabric.
Musical performances will include vocal ensembles; guitar, violin, ukelele and string bass players; and Usual Suspects, an acoustic blues and rock group from Orange City. There will also be a strolling ventriloquist, a balloon artist clown, and demonstrations by dancers from Just for Kix and Elite Dance and Tumbling.
Among the activities for children are face painting, a story walk
in Windmill Park, kite-making, magnet poetry and a scavenger hunt. Kids can also paint a t-shirt, create mini sculptures with marshmallows and toothpicks, build large structures, and experiment with baking soda and vinegar or bubbles to make artwork.
Popular last year, according to Janine Calsbeek, director of Orange City Arts, was The Cube — a huge plywood structure in the middle of the street — which kids and adults filled with their artistic touches. It’ll be back. Also a big hit were live mannequins. This year the mannequins will be “on” for two 15-minute sessions each, from 5:30-6:30pm. Eight businesses will host live mannequins in their store fronts, and people can vote for their favorites with donations big and small—with all proceeds going to Orange City Arts and ATLAS.
Businesses have donated prizes for drawings that will be held throughout the evening. And food vendors will be on hand, selling pizza, burritos, tacos, gelato, skewers, stroopwaffles and more. College students can purchase poffertjes for half price. Local merchants are giving free hotdogs with toppings, “Thanks with Franks.”
The 2016 Arts on Central will feature dozens of new artists and activities, said Calsbeek: a kid water fight (note: bring a change of clothes), a full-face face painting station, and the opportunity to create artwork on tiles with alcohol inks. Also new is Thrift Wars, where contestants have one hour to transform thrift store castoffs into works of art–while others watch!
The Windmill in the downtown park is the center for information, maps and signing up for prizes, said Calsbeek.
Arts on Central will move to Windmill Park at 7:30pm, when Omaha Street Percussion takes the stage. Inspired by Broadway hits like STOMP and the Blue Man Group, the seven-member ensemble provides a visually appealing, highly energetic form of drumming using unorthodox “instruments” like pots and pans, buckets and trash cans.
Arts on Central is supported by the Old Factory Coffee Shop, Northwestern Bank and local merchants in conjunction with Orange City Arts. Rain locations for Arts on Central are downtown businesses and City Hall. Windmill Park is located at 200 Central Avenue NW. For more information, see orangecityarts.net or contact ocArts@orangecityiowa.com or 712-707-4885.