Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Artfest Kingston - How I Spent Canada Day

This is the season when all the art shows, studio tours and fairs seem to take place. We like to go exploring, and things like this make for interesting stops along the way.

This past weekend it was time for the the Kingston Artfest.  This is more than your usual outdoor art show.  While it had about 150 assorted artists displaying their work, it also had much more than that.  This is a very interactive event.

One could learn various kinds of drumming, for instance, as there was a different type of drum seminar each hour, all three days.  There was everything from a Beginners Rhythm Workshop, to Taiko Drumming between the hours of 10:30am and 3:00pm.  After that an open community drum circle was held each day of the festival.  I was really interested, but we ran out of time and the sky started to promise rain.  Okay, so I chickened out.

Nearby there was an opportunity to learn to sculpt in rock. That also looked interesting, but I'd want all day to work on something like that and we were only there for a couple of hours.

At one on of the booths, I saw a little girl getting a lesson in how to work a spinning wheel.

 There were also an assortment of art classes available, for both adults and children.  I always seem to miss the timing for the ones I'd be most interested in.  Perhaps I need to get my hands on a schedule ahead of time somehow.

I spotted one of our local artists, Larry Thompson from Greyweathers Press,

and was fascinated by some interesting crafts, like these ukuleles made out of tin cans.

I see a bright future for this young fellow.  I've seen designs cut into metal objects with a plasma cutter before, but he turned some old junk into amazing works of art.

Over in another corner there was the opportunity to paint on a mural.  I remember I was there a lot later during last year's event and it was getting pretty colourful by then.

I understand there were 20 picnic tables that entire families could paint on too. At the end of the weekend there was a silent auction to determine who got to keep them.

Habitat for Humanity was ready to teach you skills while helping to build a playhouse on site too. That was also to be auctioned off at the end of the event.

At the Easel Invasion, one could paint a picture of your own. An artist was on hand to help guide you, if needed.

Nearby was a poetry tent, if that is your sort of thing.  There was also music stage, and a beer tent.

The giant puppets were back too.  Last year I saw them being operated, as they walked through the crowd, towering over us. It's hard enough to work a regular sized puppet. These ones need more than one person each to operate them.
Then there were the stilt walkers.  Some people obviously have been doing this for a long time, but what they were doing there this weekend was teaching others to do it.  I saw kids with their feet tied to the stilts and wondered what would happen if they fell.  The instructors were there to catch, I suppose, but later I saw a group of three kids on stilts walking down one of the pathways toward the food area.  They might as well have been on their own two feet, they seemed so comfortable.

If you have never been to Artfest, you should go at least once.  There truly is something for everyone.  Best of all, it's all free.  It was a great way to spend Canada Day this year.


  1. That looks like a fun and educational event. Since we visited the 1000 Islands region in NY and became familiar with names of Canadian cities across the river, I find myself picturing the cities you write about in your blog posts.

  2. Thanks for sharing Karen! It is always a pleasure to take a ramble along with you.. :)