PONCA, Ark. – The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) Ponca Nature Center will be holding its 16th annual Color Fest fine art exhibit Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. AGFC says the event provides an outdoor perspective of fascinating work by some of the Ozarks’ top artists. Lauren Cannon, director of the nature center for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, says she is thrilled to bring back the Color Fest after last year’s cancellation due to COVID-19 issues. distancing protocols, ”Cannon says. “The event takes place outdoors in the fall setting of the Ozarks, so it’s quite easy to socially distance yourself and enjoy a visit.”
Cannon expects a good turnout as the event falls right at the height of bugle season for the area’s elk herd.
“Before COVID, we could expect 200 to 250 visitors per day during Colorfest,” says Cannon. “Some came for the momentum and stopped at the center, and others came for the art and discovered the momentum when they visited, but everyone commented on how inspiring the trip was. ”
Cannon says all artists who have registered for the event will have pieces to sell, but they spend a lot of their time demonstrating their craft.
“We allow them to sell their art, but first and foremost it’s an educational event,” Cannon said. “They may not give instructions per se, but a keen eye can gather a lot of information from watching them demonstrate their work.”
Other artists are also welcome to bring their own supplies and join in the extravagance. The change of color in the Ozarks, combined with the picturesque pastures and the trumpeting bulls tending to dozens of elk, is a sight many people only see through pictures.
Young artists are always welcome at the event. Special art exhibitions where young people can try their hand at animal art will be available.
“We have art supplies available for kids and activities to stimulate their creativity as well,” Cannon said.
Participants are advised to check the weather before going to the event, as it will be canceled in the event of rain. Sadly, artwork and rainwater don’t mix well, but the outdoor experience of being in the Ozarks among bugle elk is what draws artists from across the region to attend and to participate.
The following artists have confirmed their participation in this year’s Color Fest:
• Barbara Worth
• Brenda Dickey
• Ila and Keith Kolander
• Rick and Yalonda Martin
• Pan Klenczar
• Winston Taylor
• Madison wood
For more information on AGFC’s Ponca Nature Center, visit www.agfc.com/en/explore-outdoors/nature-and-education-centers/peec.
Or visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/poncanaturecenter.
The Jasper Advertising and Tourism Promotion Commission (JAPC) is bringing the Fall Colors Tour back to Newton County on Friday starting at 9 a.m. from Bradley Park. The cost is $ 10 per person for bus transportation. To reserve, contact JAPC at (870) 715-5624.
The 59th Annual Fall Color Tour is sponsored by the JAPC and the Newton County Beautification Committee. The tour is also supported by the City of Jasper, the Newton County Extension Service, the US Forest Service, Quinnel Land along with the Newton County Arkansas Quilt Trails and the Jasper School District.
This guided tour of Newton County’s fall landscapes will include several stops, including lunch at the Ponca Elk Education Center during the annual Festival of Colors where visitors can meet local artists, listen to outdoor music, and grab a bite to eat at the Cowbell Ranch. food truck.
The Color Tour is an annual event dedicated to the memory of Margaret Phillips and Ray Crouse for their instrumental work and dedication to the first tour.
Participants are encouraged to bring snacks, a jacket, a camera and comfortable walking shoes.
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