The 37th Annual Sherman Arts Fest returned on Saturday, turning the city’s municipal grounds into a large-scale art gallery, market, and all-out celebration of the community’s creativity.
“It’s a fun mix between music shows and performance art, fine art, food and artisan crafts,” Sherman Tourism and Main Street Manager Sarah McRae said. “There’s kind of a little something for everyone.”
McRae said the festival featured a record 126 vendors this year, comprised of local and traveling artists, craft makers, businesses, and organizations. Festival Attendees got both rain and sunshine throughout the day, but organizers said they hoped to see a turnout of between 2,000 and 3,000 people.
“In an age where people spend so much time do so many things online, it’s important to enjoy the arts in person,” McRae said. “The festival is great because it gives people get the chance to walk by and see all these talented vendors, buy something from them and support them.”
Jim Huckaby returned for his 12th year at Sherman Arts Fest and welcomed browsers and customers to look over his handmade, ceramic pottery and dining ware. Huckaby said all his all of his pieces are made at home in Sanger, but he makes his money from the road, setting up booths at festivals, wherever they’re to be found.
“This is all I do for a living,” Huckaby said. “In fact, this is my 923rd show.”
With 45 years as a ceramic artist under his belt, Huckaby said he enjoyed traveling and sharing his work with other people, but that he also appreciated the solitude and serenity of his craft.
“It’s very meditative,” Huckaby said. “When you’re working on the wheel, the movement and creation of the clay in your hands almost feels spiritual.”
Although the festival is held only once a year, McRae said its growth is representative of the city’s and the community’s desire to foster creativity. Downtown Sherman has seen several new murals completed this year through both public and private funding and McRae said the idea is catching on.
“I think it’s kind of contagious,” McRae said. “You see one mural go up and then someone else is like, ‘Wow! I have a building and I would sure love to see some wings on the side of it or turn it into this neat scene I’ve always dreamt of.’ It just seems to take on a life of its own after the first one goes up.”
But no matter the medium, McRae said all art is important to the community and proudly sharing it through the festival was the best way to show the world Sherman’s true colors.
“It’s where you set your city and your people apart from everywhere and everyone else,” McRae said. “You have all these talented people and you’re just so proud that they’re from here. Every time they display their artwork here, they get to showcase their creativity and the uniqueness of our city.”