Over 140 booths are displayed by artists from all over the nation. The festival features children's activities, including face painting, hands-on projects and workshops.

The Festival of the Arts is held every year at the Bicentennial Park in downtown Oklahoma City. 

Artists, musicians, performers, and culinary artists gather and share their work and skills. 

The festival was founded in 1967 and is held every April. 

Over 140 booths are displayed by artists from all over the nation. The festival features children’s activities, including face painting, hands-on projects and workshops.

Margaret Aden, a jewelry maker from Tucson, Arizona, traveled to Oklahoma to share her work.

She was inspired to make jewelry by rocks. 

“All the rocks. #alltherocks,” Aden said.

The artist stated she started when she was on bed rest with her oldest child 24 years ago. 

Her favorite pieces to make are rings. 

“I love to make rings just because they really encompass a lot of themes. I used a basket weaving technique, so anything that uses that seems to be really connective for me,” Aden stated. 

The jewelry-maker explained she could get in the zone and make rings for days. 

Aden started making jewelry later in life. 

“It’s a little bit of a third career for me. I was in the military first, then I worked in engineering and so I say I’ve done it for country, money and now I do it for art,” Aden said.  

The artist expressed she makes the pieces to connect with the people. 

“I think really for me it’s about connecting to people. Connecting myself to the piece, connecting the piece to the person,” she said.  

Aden went on to say that art has a purpose in this world, calling it “one of the highest forms that connect us.” 

It doesn’t matter what you’re thinking or doing when you’re making something; it matters how it’s received and how others determine it. 

Aden travels the country to attend festivals just like this one. 

“I do roughly two shows a month. In September I won’t do shows, but I’ll do three in June, three in July. That’s just an average. I criss cross the country two or three times a year,” she said.  

One of her favorite things about Oklahoma City are the people. 

“I like the people here. Just great people. That’s really what it is for me,” she said.  

Local OCCC student Taryn McNully described the Festival of the Arts as “open minded” and “eccentric.” 

McNully makes art herself, though she does not want to do it as her main source of income when she’s older, she would like to display it at places like the Festival of the Arts. She got started in sixth grade, with the help of her art teacher Mrs. Cannon. 

“We had certain art projects that we all had to do but she noticed that I really love painting. I would work on that for hours and hours and hours. It got to the point, as I got older and through all the grades, she just let me paint. I’d finish 15 paintings a year in that class,” McNully said. 

One of McNully’s favorite things about the arts festival was the food. 

“The food is just as good as all the other art.” 

“I like that the arts festival doesn’t just show visual mediums, but they also show music, and dancing, and people create art while they’re there. It’s very community based,” McNully said. 

Images from the Festival of Arts. All photos by Peyton Ferguson.

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