As Hannibal's community of full-time artists continues to grow, artists from across the country also are arriving for weekend art fairs, such as the second annual Downtown Hannibal Art Fair on Saturday and Sunday, June 15 and 16. The hours will be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
In only two years this art fair has grown from featuring 23 artists in 2012 to 38 this year, according to Katy Ayers-Welch of the sponsoring Renaissance Hannibal organization.
Artists from eight states will exhibit their work in booths along North Main Street from Broadway to Bird Street. In addition to Missouri, the artists are coming from Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota. Kentucky, Mississippi and Florida.
The work to be exhibited is all professional, Ayers-Welch said. The artists "were all journeyed and hand-selected by a panel made up of professional artists and business people. ... It is all hand-made, hand-crafted art work, made in America. This is a true art fair."
Seven of the artists are Hannibal residents, she said. "Some Hannibal artists travel across the country to the top art shows in the nation, and this will be their first time they have booths in a Hannibal art show."
Hannibal artists will be Kimberly Shinn, painting; Brenda Beck Fisher, painting; Josh McCurdy, ceramics; Mike Moore, furniture; Janice Ho, jewelry; Joachim Knill, painting; and Kim Caissee, jewelry.
"Our artists are really excited," Ayers-Welch continued. "A lot of artists are returning, because they had such a good time last year. The Renaissance board has been happy and pleased with it, and plans to continue."
Artist award categories include a $500 Prize for Best Twain-inspired Art Piece, three prizes in 2-D, and three prizes in 3-D. "The judges are art professionals from throughout the region," Ayers-Welch reported.
Michael Gaines, a member of the art fair committee and executive director of the Hannibal Arts Council, said the fair "will feature quality artists and evening hours - all in the heart of downtown Hannibal."
It will feature "artwork that is handmade and individually designed by the artist," Gaines added, noting the artists will be "exhibiting and selling works in several media categories," including paintings, drawings, photography, sculpture, pottery, weaving, folk art, jewelry, fiber, wood, clay, grass, paper, leather and wearable art."
Ayers-Welch reported that two others events will coincide with the art fair on Saturday. "There is a farmer's market in the morning, and in the evening from 4 to 8, the Pub & Art Walk. ... They can register for the Pub Walk that day."
One change this year will be focusing on local restaurants instead of having food booths, she added. "We are doing just art booths, and we are painting white footprints to restaurants and drinking establishments."
Also, Ayers-Welch said, "some of the businesses will be open for evening hours." She invited "everybody to come downtown to North Main Street for the second annual art fair."
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Gaines explained that this event "was created by Renaissance Hannibal to spotlight both the arts and Historic Downtown Hannibal – an opportunity for both the community and visitors to experience the arts set in an intimate festival setting."
He added that "Renaissance Hannibal is a volunteer organization with interests in downtown development, establishment of neighborhood associations, issues effecting downtown businesses and potential for growth in Downtown Hannibal."