One of Maricopa’s premier art expositions is taking on a new name and face this month.
Dec. 9 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., The Duke at Rancho El Dorado will be home to 30 of the area’s most gifted artisans and craftsmen for the Maricopa Arts Festival.
Formerly called Art on the Veranda, the festival has been one of Maricopa’s largest and most comprehensive gatherings of local artists. It will take on a slightly different form this year, festival director Kaui Wilson said.
The previous Art on the Veranda organizers took with them their nonprofit status as well as the name, Wilson said. So, this year she is using her own personal business – Kaui Wilson LLC—to facilitate event planning.
Aside from the name change, the addition of the crafts corner and adult drink specials, it’s pretty much the same as before, she said.
Maricopa Arts Festival will again include a variety of artists and media, including oil painters, glass blowers, metalsmiths, jewelry makers, and textile and fiber artists. However, there will be a stronger emphasis placed on the younger crowd.
“It’s about enrichment,” Wilson said. “It’s [also] about supporting our local artists and youth.”
Wilson said this year’s festival will include a craft corner for kids hosted by high school students to encourage artistic expression in younger people.
The festival will rely on Boy Scouts and possibly Maricopa High School’s JROTC cadets to assist with some of the heavy lifting and logistics at the event.
One of the previous organization’s figureheads moved away, sending the exposition into a bit of a rejuvenation mode. Wilson said in the wake of the transition, nobody was willing to take the wheel. Having experience organizing arts events, Wilson decided to give it a shot.
“Out of 12 people, I was the only one who thought ‘I can’t let it die,’” Wilson said. “This is the only major art thing we have here, so I decided I would bear the burden there.”
Wilson’s own Art and Sip events have taken off around Maricopa, offering aspiring artists a chance to learn the ins and outs of painting while also socializing at local venues like the 347 Grill and True Grit Tavern.
Also on Dec. 9, after the arts festival closes, Maricopa Arts Council will host a symphony, chorus and dance recital at the Maricopa Agricultural Center at 7 p.m.