Local artists honor Topeka icon with annual art fair

Published: Sep. 30, 2023 at 6:35 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The 18th annual Aaron Douglas Art Fair was held Saturday, Sept. 30 at the park that bears Douglas’ name at 12th and Lane Street.

The event is a one-day fair that showcased emerging artists to showcase and sell their work to art lovers. The event also included live music, food trucks and a Kids Zone tent, giving children the chance to draw and showcase their art.

The art fair is also a celebration of the legacy of Aaron Douglas, a Topeka-born artist who created works of art addressing social issues around race and segregation in the United States. He is also known as a major figure of the Harlem Renaissance.

“Every year, we celebrate [Douglas’] legacy by giving a venue for new and emerging artists to show their work,” Jessica Mays, Chair of the Aaron Douglas Art Far, said. “We are by far the lowest priced fair in the state. We don’t care what color tent they have. We don’t care if they’ve ever shown before. We want all artists who want to have their work seen to be able to have a venue and a safe place to do so.”

The fair has a featured artist each year. 2023′s featured artist is Topeka native Amy Allen. According to the fair’s website, Allen’s art is described as a dot art style, incorporating hand-painted dots, bright colors, mandalas, basic shapes and texture.

“It’s very cool to be the featured artist,” Allen said. “The Aaron Douglas Art Fair was the first art fair that I ever took part in and that was in 2019. So, five years later to be the featured artist is amazing. I’m honored.”

More information on the fair can be found by clicking HERE.