Oro Valley arts fest is 1 big to-do

This weekend's festival expected to attract over 100 artists, and host array of music events, food vendors
2013-02-28T00:00:00Z 2014-10-10T13:26:43Z Oro Valley arts fest is 1 big to-doPhil Villarreal Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
February 28, 2013 12:00 am  • 

With opportunities to shop, munch and mingle, attendees at the Oro Valley Festival of the Arts may find it tough to remain stationary.

The twice-annual event rounds up more than 100 artists, stages live music and corrals a bunch of food vendors.

The festival is Saturday and Sunday at Oro Valley Marketplace, at the southwest corner of North Oracle and East Tangerine Roads.

The Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance stages the event with several sponsors as well as volunteers - some whose job it is to take a seat.

As one of the about 20 volunteers who helps out with the show, Sandi Sadovnick strolls the aisles, offering to booth-sit for artists who need to grab something to eat, do some shopping or take a break.

"It's a lot of fun," said Sadovnick, 63. "I meet a lot of nice people. There are a lot of repeat artists, and you have relationships with them as you deal with them at various art shows."

Sadovnick said passers-by often praise her for the items.

"I just let them know I've taken over the booth and the artist will be right back," she said.

Artist Kevin Sack, who runs the art company Kevin K. Designs, makes jewelry with glass and copper, and spends most of his time at the festival working, but steps out to look around at times.

"I'll get a quick bite to eat and check out what the other artists are doing. What they're making. I do a little networking."

The festival is one of his favorites, Sack said.

"It's one of the better shows in Southern Arizona," he said. "It's just quality people. It has a good following and attracts a lot of people in Oro Valley and so forth."

Organizers restrict the show to artists selling their own wares, preventing booths from ending up in the hands of those who buy goods online and mark them up for resale, Sack said.

Potter Kathy Dunning, who operates Hearth Stone Pottery with her husband, Jim, said she gears her items toward festival-goers' stomachs.

"I do functional items. Most of them are related to food," she said, adding that many of her pottery items are meant to be used as food containers. "Food is essential. It's something that sort of comes from the earth. And clay is earth."

There'll be plenty of food for sale, too, including smoothies, kettle corn, shave ice, barbecue, fudge and quesadillas.

Dunning, however, does her best not to succumb.

"I'm a typical female - constantly on a diet," she said. "All the food smells good while they're cooking it and everything, but I just enjoy having the music as the background. It's nice. It's great to chat with the customers and the other participants."

Sadovnick, who sees shoppers peruse goods at the various booths she watches, said a joy of discovery permeates the event. Shoppers wander at their whim until they see something that catches their eye.

"They don't even know they're looking for something until they find it," Sadovnick said. "And then they're sure."

If you go

• What: Oro Valley Festival of the Arts.

• When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.

• Where: Oro Valley Marketplace, at the southwest corner of North Oracle and East Tangerine roads.

• Admission: Free.

• Online: www.orovalleyfestival.org

Contact reporter Phil Villarreal at 573-4130 or pvillarreal@azstarnet.com

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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