Mayfest organizers pleased with this year's event
BY AMANDA BLAND World Staff Writer
Sunday, May 20, 2012
5/20/12 at 6:10 PM
Tulsa International Mayfest almost had its first rain-free festival in four years, but the few drops that fell Sunday weren’t enough to affect the 40th anniversary celebration.
Organizers estimated 365,000 attended the four-day event, which has seen a steady increase in recent years. The total well exceeded a pre-festival projection of 250,000.
Executive director Heather Pingry attributed Mayfest’s success to this year’s unique offerings — the 3-D Building Projection and additional headliners — as well as, of course, the weather.
“We feel really great,” Pingry said, adding festival are grateful for the Tulsa community’s support, both festival-goers and sponsors.
A short-lived sprinkling of rain fell as the event was winding down Sunday afternoon, but after downpours during previous years, the rain was negligible, she said.
Strong gusts reaching 38 mph blew through Tulsa on Saturday afternoon, National Weather Service meteorologists said. Winds reached 30 mph Friday and stayed at 10 to 15 mph Thursday.
Pingry said most Mayfest artists are seasoned to whatever unpredictable weather may befall them.
Lisa Hamilton’s hand was cut as the wind came through and caused a decorative window for sale in her booth, The Painted Chair, to break. The Painted Chair features colorful upcycled chairs, tables and other decor Hamilton’s breathed new life into; items she describes as upscale vintage functional art.
Mostly nonchalant about the injury, the central Missouri-based artist was pleased with the networking she was able to do at Mayfest. She said she always keeps notes on what she hears about other art show and festival opportunities.
Hamilton shows often at Silver Dollar City in Branson Mo., which where is where she was heard about and was encouraged to participate in Mayfest.
“So many people say, ‘Have you done Mayfest? You really should,’” she said.
She said she had more lookers than buyers during the festival but got good leads on places to show art in Tulsa.
Poteau-based Steve Brewster of Moon Bay Artglass Studio has previously participated in Mayfest and described the weather as perfect.
“I’ve done well, so I’m happy,” he said from under his beach umbrella Sunday afternoon.
Spectators said they enjoy the variety of art at the festival.
Mayfest has “the most diverse, unique artists,” said Lori Duncan, a graphic designer from Tulsa. For Duncan, Tulsa’s location allows artists to draw inspiration from the styles and influence of regional artists in surrounding locales.
She comes to see what other artists are doing with their art and to show her 14-year-old daughter Grace the beauty and importance of art.
Grace, however, enjoys the entire festival atmosphere: art, music, food.
She’s said she’s partial to the paintings, and funnel cake.
Debbie Defoggi of Houston shops on the final day of Mayfest on Sunday. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World
Juana Peña of Peña Designs hangs art on the final day of Mayfest on Sunday. Peña is from San Francisco. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World