By Arion Wright
University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications
|Mixed media art by Charlie Yowell|
The event is named for Col. John Francisco, who was the original owner of the property where Midway now sits. He sold his farm to the Lexington and the Ohio Railroad, which established Midway in the 1830s. The festival started at Midway College at 2004.
This year’s event will feature the work of fine artists and craft artists pre-selected by a panel of jury members from 125 applicants. Artists come from all around the world.
The outdoor exhibition is an opportunity for the public to meet and interact with artists and purchase art. The festival will feature artists’ booths, food concessions, live music, public art projects, artist demonstrations and other special exhibits. There will be a variety of exhibits, including two-dimensional art, and fine crafts in all media. There will be a diverse showcase of fine art and fine crafts.
|Donald Pekarek jewelry|
Kenny Smith, the festival’s artist coordinator and the owner of Kennydid Gallery in Midway, noted that the event has been named one of the top festivals in the South by the Southeast Tourism Society.
The festival’s other awards include the Kentucky League of Cities Enterprise City Award, the Kentucky Tourism Council’s Top 10 Events and American Style Magazine’s Top 10 Art Festival for four years.
The event will run between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday, and between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Sunday at Midway College. Admission is free, and parking at the college is $5.
On Saturday, there will be live music on the steps of the Little Memorial Library. The Lexington Saxophone Trio, Celtic group Margret Lyle Gravit and Jack Twombly, traditional Irish singer Liam’s Fancy, jazz and African spoken-word artist Water, and the gyspy jazz Americana and Latina group Stirfy Musette, will perform.
On Sunday, the entertainers will be traditional English and Irish folk singers Bill and Leslie Penn; the rock, blues, and roots group Chung Yen Twins; the American and classic pop group Chester the Band; tonk piano balladeer Keith Hubbard; the Midway Children’s Choir; the Americana group Bill, Lauren and Sophie Hill; and gospel singer Aaron Hamilton of Midway.
|Ceramic by Janet Essenpreis|
Local-area artists include Raymond Papka, a mixed media artist; Gray Zeitz, a letterpress publisher; and Karen Riggins, a quilt artist. For a complete list of the artists see http://www.franciscosfarm.org/#!2015-artists-/c1pxi.
"Midway Renaissance and Midway College are excited to welcome visitors to this year's festival,” said Ellen Gregory, festival committee marketing chair and college spokesperson. “The variety of artists will please all of our visitors and provide something for everyone's artistic tastes."