Stillwater News Press

April 20, 2013

Artists display their handiwork at 36th Stillwater Arts Festival

By Russell Hixson
Stillwater NewsPress

STILLWATER, Okla. — The Stillwater Arts Festival got under way Saturday as dozens of sculptors, painters, carvers, crafters and jewelers showed off their handiwork.

Abstract paintings, colorful photography, gritty metal cutouts, intricate wood carvings and other pieces lined Main Street for passersby to inspect.

The sound of a guitar strumming onstage floated through the rows of tents.

Residents already got a chance to see work from glass artist Steve Brewster long before the festival.

Brewster was a Festival Choice Award winner last year and one of his glass sculptures was featured in this year’s arts festival poster.

“I only make one of each piece,” Brewster said at  his booth Saturday.

He enjoys working with glass because it is constantly changing and the results are always unique.

The Poteau artist learned the art of working with glass 30 years ago from a relative and has been perfecting his craft ever since.

His pieces feature intricate collages of glass shapes, glass animals and colors.

Brewster said he starts by creating individual pieces and then begins putting them together after he has an idea. It is his second year at the festival.

Brewster’s work has won a plethora of awards and is in the private collections of Wayne Gretzky, Nick Carter, Celine Dion, Denzel Washington, Eddie Van Halen, President Ronald Reagan and more.

Arts festival officials expected more than 10,000 visitors during the weekend event.

In its 36th year, a new twist for the arts festival was a recycled art competition called the “Found Art” contest.

Oklahoma State University students and high school seniors or juniors entered works with more than 50 percent of the materials composed of discarded or recycled objects to be judged on creativity and craftsmanship.