Cooler temps herald the return of one of Richardson's most highly anticipated events: Cottonwood Art Festival. Held at Cottonwood Park October 7-8, this free celebration of all things arty has plenty of new and exciting additions in store. Here's your sneak peek at what not to miss that weekend.
Featured artist Gregory Arth
The Colleyville-based artist is the very definition of diverse, dabbling in contemporary Cubist sculpture, Old World-style murals, and Impressionistic paintings. Arth got his start designing sets and painting theatrical backdrops, and that sense of drama has never left his work — at one time, he even specialized in painting underwater scenes on swimming pool bottoms. His well-known tree series features heavily in this year's festival marketing, with the "dream trees" representing the repository of our dreams in case we lose them.
Craft beer garden
What goes better with fine art than fine beer? The offerings at this year's Lakeside Courtyard comprise an epic lineup of craft beer from mostly local breweries, all of which pair exceptionally well with the assortment of food that's available from the festival's vendors. In this oasis for craft beer-lovers you'll find: Revolver Blood and Honey, Rahr Ugly Pug, Lakewood Lager, Blue Moon, Shock Top Belgian White, Deep Ellum Blonde, Deep Ellum Neato Bandito, Bishop Crackberry Cider, Community Witbier, Franconia Dunkel, Bud Light, and brews from Richardson's own 4 Bullets Brewery.
Not a beer fan? Margaritas, prosecco, and wine are also available. And don't forget that Mimosa Mornings begin at 10 am, giving early birds the opportunity to enjoy a delightful morning beverage.
Live music performances
The lineup for this year's concerts on the Courtyard Stage includes musician Devin Leigh, a favorite who frequently plays at The Rustic, and The Free Loaders, who regulars at The Free Man in Deep Ellum will certainly recognize. Also catch sets from La Pompe, Raquel Lindemann, RJ Ballard, FogHouse Band, Bob Culbertson, Heather Little, Davis & Rose, The 3 Amigos, and Chaz Marie. Performances start early and play well into the evening on both the Courtyard Stage and the Food Court Stage (the festival itself runs 10 am-7 pm on Saturday and 10 am-6 pm on Sunday).
When you're not sipping suds or tapping your toes at a concert, don't forget the main reason why Cottonwood has been a Richardson staple for more than 40 years: its more than 200 museum-quality works from some of the country's top artists and craftsmen. The juried art show receives more than 800 submissions and pares those down to the selection you'll get to enjoy in October. You'll find jaw-dropping pieces in 14 categories — everything from ceramics and glass to painting, pastels, photography, and sculpture. There are even categories for such specialized skills as jewelry, leather, metalwork, fiber, wood, digital art, and 2-D and 3-D mixed media.
The ArtStop Children's Area ensures that pint-size Picassos also get in on the fun, with interactive workshops and arts-and-crafts projects so fun they might make adult jealous. It doesn't get any cooler than this, so be sure to mark your calendar for Cottonwood Art Festival.