Featured Artist Of Aaron Douglas Art Fair: Michael Mize

By: Sarah Plake Email
By: Sarah Plake Email

TOPEKA, Kansas (WIBW) -- Sunny skies and even brighter works of art from Topeka's local artists made the 8th annual Aaron Douglas Art Fair an event not to miss.

A platform to spread a message through art is all a local artist wants.

Washburn Rural art teacher Michael Mize discovered how showing off his pieces at the fair has paid off. He was named the 2013 Featured Artist.

Mize said he loves what he does, but he also wants to produce more art to sell. He was surprised people even knew who he was, to name him the fair's Featured Artist.

"It's a thrill and definitely an honor to represent what has really become a Topeka tradition, this fair, eight years now. A real honor."

He got the chance to show off his work at last year's fair: faith-inspired pictorials and abstract ideas of bible verses and scripture.

"I think that this fair creates tremendous opportunities for local artists," Mize said. "That definitely gave me a boost, and then the year that followed I've definitely shown a lot more I think."

Dozens of other local artists with their own style and fair set up their stands on Saturday.

Topeka High School student and budding artist Shelby Kerr is getting a feel for what being a working artist is like.

"My stuff was here last year and I ended up selling my own artwork, so it makes me feel really good about my artwork," Kerr said. "I just want everyone at Topeka High that is an art student to experience this."

Other pieces from Topeka High students lined the booth walls, such as portraits of pop culture icons, symbols and other dream-like depictions.

"It's just a wonderful opportunity that Topeka does this, because I'm from Iowa and I've never experienced anything like this."

Mize knows the feeling.

"That's what's so great about the fair here is that a lot of these artists, that's the first time they've shown their work publicly, and so they can get coached and mentored by other artists and some of the volunteers about how to price your work, how to exhibit your work. Just getting your name out there is the most important part of getting your foot in the door in the art community."

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