Friends of the Arts hosting interactive festival on Saturday

Mike Dearth demonstrating different techniques. [Bryan Mordt]

From reggae musicians to wood workers, patrons may experience Maricopa’s vibrant arts scene Saturday afternoon at the Maricopa Friends of the Arts exhibition at Raceway Bar and Grill.  

Starting at 2 p.m. on March 18, local artists will set up tents and makeshift studios, showcasing their art and providing hands-on lessons during festivities that begin at 2 p.m. at Raceway, 49237 W. Papago Road, Suite 7. 

There is no admission charge, but raffles, artwork and lessons are available for fees.  

Mike Dearth demonstrating different glass art techniques. [Bryan Mordt]
Mike Dearth, an artist from Imagination Glass, who has been in the business for more than a decade, will demonstrate how to create colorful beads, pendants and small figurines by melting and manipulating the shape of glass.  

Dearth and five other glass smiths will haul their equipment – propane tanks, oxygen, color rods and torches – to the festival.  

Lessons are $20 for MFOTA members and $25 for non-members.  

Other vendors include painters, tattoo artists, DJs, food crafters and musicians.  

Visitors may enter hourly raffles for a chance to win a unique piece of art from one of the vendors. Participants are not required to be present to win.  

Although this is the first year for the festival, Dearth and his father, Mark, hope to make it a reoccurring fixture on the area arts calendar. 

“We really just want local artists to get their name out there,” Mark said. “There’s so much talent out here.”  

MFOTA recognizes the benefits of art and the happiness it can bring to a community. The organization strives to support all art forms in Maricopa, whether selling artwork or promoting local businesses.   

For more information, visit the MFOTA website.