Submitted by the the Riverdale Park Arts Council:
Vanadu is coming. The Wright Brother’s replica biplane wings are coming. Carol Tisdale and her latest line of hand-crafted glamorous jewelry will be there. So, too, will 12-year-old author and entrepreneur Gabrielle Jordan Williams and her line of matching mother-daughter jewelry “Jewelz of Jordan.” And a half dozen renowned artists from Hyattsville have also carved out their spots in Riverdale Park’s Town Center for ArtsFest2012 on Sunday, May 6 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The fifth annual arts and music festival, sponsored by the Riverdale Park Arts Council, has already attracted a record number of more than four dozen artists and artisans including Hyattsville auto artist Clark Bedford, who produces unusual and delightful moving art temples that brings America’s gothic metal works, advertising kitch, and Detroit atop one set of rubber tires.
“It’s assemblage,” grins the artist, a curator at the Smithsonian’s Hirsh Horn Museum, as his hand runs down the side of a metal Elk, part of The Hartford Insurance Co. logo welded to the side of a vehicle. “I got this in Maine,” Bedford recalls. Then, moving his hand left to the next welded-on artifact, “The moose came from Massachusetts.”
Each odd piece of art is a memory and has a story that theartist/storyteller spills out with delight. Double-sided doors open to the interior of a rustic cabin in the woods, making it difficult for the average person to remember that all of this wonderment is affixed to a 1988 Ford van Bedford has named Vanadu. The artist gathers unique ornaments from travels along America’s blue highways, from flea markets, and occasionally from Community Forklift. It’s a sight to behold, not to mention the tales from the artist, and it can all be enjoyed at ArtsFest2012.
Also joining the fun is the College Park Aviation Museum, located at the world’s oldest continuously operating airport and the scene of many aviation firsts. The Wright Brothers won a $25,000 government contract to teach members of the military to fly and, in 1909, opened the College Park Aviation School. There, the first bomb dropping was tested and the first airborne machine gun was fired. The first woman to fly and the first airmail to Philadelphia took off from College Park, too. During ArtsFest 2012, aviation experts will be demonstrating how the rib of a Wright Brothers wing was hand-crafted—and then raffle them off.
Dozens of other artists—jewelry makers, painters, and textile experts among them—will jam the Town Center at the MARC station for a day of fun andentertainment. A Literary Corner has been added this year that will feature book signings by authors including motivational writers Dr. Joey N. Jones, author of 100 Percent: The Power of Giving Your All-31 Ways to a Better You, and Is it Love...or Merely a Sick Attachment? by Pamela Reaves. Rockville-based cartoonist Yi Wang and business wunderkind Gabrielle Jordan Williams will be available to chat and sign their books. Former Riverdale Park bookstore owner Audrey Bragg will offer signed copies of Ann Ferguson's new children’s book, "A Fine New Home for Young James Madison." Ferguson, a one-time mayor of Riverdale Park, reminds readers that Madison was nearly wounded while attending the Battle of Bladensburg during the War of 1812. The six authors of Fourth Sunday who call themselves B.W. Read will be on hand to discuss and sign their 2011 tale of seven women and their journey toward friendship by way of a simple book club.
A newly added poetry slam features student winners from Parkdale High School, William Wirt Middle School, and Riverdale Elementary School, who have created, recited and competed with original poems focused on the War of 1812. The winners, selected during recent springtime events, will be on stage to recite their works and win cash prizes. This will be an exciting family event where local youngsters show-off their brains.
ArtsFest2012’s just-added inspirational soul singer and national recording artist Temika Moore to the music schedule. She’ll be performing selections from The End of Me, which was released April 24.
The ArtsFest2012 performance stage again features Riverdale Park’s own R&B/Oldies group, Wayne Brown & 2nd Conspiracy, Jazz-Pop favorite Brulee, and Regional Mexican Grupo Impacto de Asas. Blues group The Sheryl Sears Trio will perform a live afternoon set while members of the Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation performs from the south stage throughout the day. Blues player One String Willie will also be performing and offering demonstrations on instrument-making all day.
WTOP-FM (103.5) personality David Burd will again emcee the arts festival. Elected officials will be on stage to introduce Riverdale Park realism artist Gerald King and to introduce the winner of the inaugural Gerald King Art Training Apprenticeship Study Program, a year-long focused teaching program in American realism painting taught by King in his local studio.
Food and beverages, including beer and wine, will be available from the just-opened Town Center Market, Dumm’s Corner Pizza & Subs, S&J Bar and Restaurant, La Sirenita Mexican Restaurant, Elk Run Winery, and Mister Magic soft ice cream.
ArtsFest2012 is made possible through the efforts of the all-volunteer Riverdale Park Arts Council, and by generous grants from the Riverdale Lions Club, Douglas Development Corp., Calvert Tract, LLC, Peter Spiropoulos and Dumm’s Corner Market, Ev-Air-Tight, and the Town of Riverdale Park.