Topeka, KAN. (WIBW)—The 6th annual Aaron Douglas Art Fair kicked off at 10 o'clock September 24th, giving an opportunity for local artists to showcase their work. Additionally, celebrating the success of one of Topeka's own.
“Born and raised in Topeka and graduated from Topeka High in 1917,” said Karen Hiller.
As the Father of African American art, Douglas' work inspired some of the 40 Kansas artists, musicians, and performers at the fair.
“The more I learned about Aaron Douglas, the more it inspired my creativity,” said aspiring artist O.C. Williams
Williams shared his beginnings as a spectator at the fair. He says it was Douglas' work that influenced him to start showing.
“Aaron Douglas is a treasure to Topeka. He not only inspires me, but I'm sure he inspires the youth."
And organizers hope to foster that spirit. For those young aspiring artists, the Kid Zone gave out t-shirts for kids to try their hand at art.
“I'd like to be an artist because i like drawing and writing and painting,” shared future artist Madison Jacques.
13's Drew Witzer spent time in the Kid Zone and on stage. A stage he shared with 13's Stephanie Ramos-Tomeoni and Ryan Smith. They shared parts of Douglas’ history. Others also commented on Douglas' famed work, some that is even on site permanently.
“A mural on the Washburn Lane celebrates community here. It was painted by volunteers as a replica to Aaron Douglas’ print,” said Karen Hiller.