Fine Arts Fiesta Underway In W-B
WILKES-BARRE — Jesús Sanchez knew what he was looking for Thursday at the Fine Arts Fiesta.
The Wilkes-Barre man was a repeat customer of Simon Zeng, whose watercolor and oil paintings have been at the festival for more than 15 years.
Sanchez previously purchased a painting of two tiger cubs, for his two sons, as well as a painting of a dragon. He was born 1988, so under the Chinese zodiac, he is a dragon.
He found Zeng’s tent again for more gifts: a painting of a horse for his wife, who loves the animal, and one of two fish for his sons.
“They’ve been rambunctious, so I’ve got to get the peaceful one,” he said of the switch from tiger cubs to fish.
He also picked out one other — a small piglet for his daughter, whose delivery date is in two weeks, which would put her in the Year of the Pig under the Chinese zodiac.
Zeng wants his artwork to spread joy and good feelings to his customers.
His art includes paintings of animals and scenes from nature. He also creates seals with Chinese characters that spell out names, good luck sayings, proverbs or poetry.
Because cameras can capture a clear, detailed image of their subject, Zeng tries to imbue his work with imagination as well as reality.
“Art must bring the spirit inside,” he said.
Zeng was just one of the artists whose work is for sale at the annual arts event on Wilkes-Barre’s Public Square.
Around him was other art in all sorts of mediums: bonsai trees, pottery, visual art, jewelry and more.
This is the event’s 64th year. Every year brings new art.
Young visitors to the fiesta will have more to see this year because festival organizers expanded the variety of activities and the times for family events, Executive Director Brian Benedetti said.
Last year, a tent with activities for children asked participants to use the work of famous artists like Georges Seurat and Piet Mondrian as inspiration. This year, that tent featured a drawing of a flowerpot filled with flowers in a variety of styles — realism, cubism, surrealism — as a starting point for kids creating their own artwork.
“They can draw or build or do whatever they want to do. And then we hang it to dry and they can take it home with them,” said Mary Anne Fedrick, the president of the event’s board of directors.
Also new this year, a local artist will be reading her work at the fiesta. Wilkes-Barre author Cassandra Lennox will read from “Mama Kangaroo Nursery Rhymes for Modern Times” and “More Nursery Rhymes for Modern Times.”
Of course, there are also about 300 pieces of art submitted by Northeast Pennsylvania artists and selected for the event by volunteers.
There’s also live music throughout the weekend.
Board member Sarah Borland suggested people interested in a visit check out the schedule for music they are interested in and come a few hours before to see the art and settle in for the show.
“It’s the first big spring event,” Fedrick said. “Come out, enjoy the weather and see some friends.”
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The Fine Arts Fiesta continues today and tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The fiesta concludes Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For an event schedule, visit fineartsfiesta.org.