OCEAN PARK — This year’s Art in the Park scheduled for July 4 has the potential to be twice as big as last year. 

Colleen Smith, who started the event in 2010 as a way to create sort of a “studio tour all in one place,” said that the Ocean Park Area Chamber of Commerce has teamed up with her for this year’s arts and crafts happening by being a co-sponsor. Smith said the unique aspect of Art In The Park is that those who participate actually demonstrate how they make their creations. Smith is calling for Peninsula artists and crafters who wish to set up booths to both show their techniques and sell their goods.About 15 spaces are available, double the number that set up last year. Deadline for applications is June 29. 

Smith, who owns and operates Full Circle Cafe and Tapestry Rose Yarn Shop in Ocean Park, said that applications can be picked up at the store or cafe, or downloaded from her website – www.tapestryrose.com – and dropped off at her place of business, where they will go through a screening process. Many have already been approved. From her cafe Saturday, Smith said that most of the arts and crafts people who set up booths last year are returning and she has “given out applications to a lot of new people.” But, there are still spaces available. 

Applications come with a list of 18 types of art and crafts that meet the standard of acceptance. The list ranges from potters, painters and fabric artists to basketry, knitting and felting. But Smith says producing a product within those parameters is not set in stone. If someone creates work outside of that list but would like to demonstrate and sell at the event, they can show the art or craft to Smith, submit an application and see if they might be accepted. Smith stressed, however, that handcrafting is a must. Whether the items are on the application list or not, they must be original and handcrafted by the applicant. And, anyone exhibiting must be a resident of the Peninsula.

With residents demonstrating their techniques, Smith feels it will foster a sense of community and also a learning environment for all ages. Last year, as locals and tourists streamed through Roy Sheldon Park on parade day, they gravitated to booths where they could learn a skill. Children and adults alike seemed to flock to the Tapestry Rose booth, where they were taught fingerknitting. Smith had to rely on employees and friends to man her booth last year, because of the schedule of her business, which required her to be at the cafe. But this year, she said smiling, “I get to be there.” She will be teaching fingerknitting and will also be coordinating the sale of something special, in an effort to raise money for the Humane Society. Her cafe kitchen will have baked dozens of homemade dog goodies, in the form of dog bone shaped treats.

Throughout the final formulation of this dog treat recipe, Smith’s 5-year-old Dachshund, Copper, has been the official taste tester. “He’s not only taste tested them, but he’s getting fat over them,” Smith said grinning. Copper apparently loves the bone shaped dog cookies. And what’s not to love? Smith said they are made with a combination of healthful ingredients, including, “liver, wheat germ, eggs including the shells and cottage cheese.”

Copper will not be able to attend Art in the Park this year, but he might be at Tapestry Rose when prospective arts and crafts exhibitors come in to drop off applications. 

Smith said applicants should be aware that there are no water or power hookups at the park, so that should be considered in planning demonstrations. For example, a potter couldn’t bring an electric wheel, but might be able to demonstrate coil or slab building techniques, bringing their own bottled water for use in the process and cleanup. If an exhibitor absolutely cannot demonstrate their techniques without the power or water source, Smith said they can “talk about it” to people who come to the event and are interested in knowing more about that particular process. 

Cost to set up the 10-foot by 10-foot spaces at Art in the Park is $25 per space, payable when the application is turned in.

The event will be open from 10 a.m. To 4 p.m., July 4 only. Along with the 4th of July parade, this event helps bring tourists to the Ocean Park area and into the stores and businesses.

Posters for the event will soon be displayed in business windows all over the Peninsula. More information can be obtained by checking out the Tapestry Rose website.

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