Sun Festival of Fine Arts and Crafts
juried fine arts event
to feature national, regional art
Randall Harden to display work
RISING SUN, Ind. (September 2008) Randall
Harden had always loved drawing and painting. It wasnt until he
broke his back and leg in a serious accident in 1996 that he thought
about art as a possible career. Unable to continue working regular jobs,
Harden turned his passion for painting into economic opportunity. Today,
Harden is an acclaimed oil painter who has traveled extensively across
the globe and won numerous awards and honors for his landscape scenes.
Harden is one of nearly 80 top quality artisans from around the country
who has been invited to exhibit at the inaugural Rising Sun Festival
of Fine Arts and Crafts. The two-day event, scheduled for Sept. 13-14,
will be held along Rising Sun, Ind.s Main Street. There is no
admission fee for the festival, which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both
days. Artisans will display a variety of works, including glass and
metal art, hand-made, high-end jewelry, pottery, photography, musical
instruments, hand-made furniture, fiber arts, fine art basketry and
fine-art gourds. The arts festival will include entertainment, music,
food, horse-drawn carriage rides and wines made exclusively by three
We have found our definitive festival for our rapidly expanding
program of arts as economic development tools, said Rising Sun
Tourism Director Sherry Timms. Our reputation as an artist community
and an arts destination has grown tremendously over the past few years;
this festival is the obvious next step in our continuing growth.
Timms said the idea for an arts festival had been kicked around
for years, but nobody could get things going. Finally, a newly
formed organization, the Rising Sun Arts Council, came up with an idea
that could work.
She also gave praise to festival organizer Debby Abrams, whom she called
a one-woman show. Abrams has devoted herself to making this festival
as upscale and top- quality as any festival can be.
Abrams said the community has wanted to start an arts festival for years
to cultivate its burgeoning art colony. We hope with this new
festival to get the word out about our flourishing artist community
and to showcase all of that talent to art patrons, she said. We
want artists to be successful and to look forward to coming back.
Abrams said the quality of the artwork exhibited will be first-rate.
Artists who applied their work evaluated by a panel of acclaimed art
professionals. She said only little more than half of the artists who
applied actually met the judges high standards of acceptance.
We have the potential to grow into a nationally recognized, top-ranked
event that attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year, she
said. We are very excited about this opportunity.
Local artisans did not participate in the jurying process. While the
juried exhibitors will have outdoor booths along the citys main
thoroughfare, local artisans will open their shop doors for visitors.
It is just going to be a great festival, said Timms.
Harden, 42, draws his inspiration for his landscape portraits from nature
scenes, particularly those of the nations Midwest. Ive
traveled throughout Europe and across the U.S., but I simply love the
Midwestern landscape. While the majority of the work he does is
landscapes, he also paints still lifes.
He has works on permanent display in several galleries, including Indiana
State Universitys Gongaware Center, Grace College, Tippecanoe
County Courthouse and Virginia Tech University. Currently, he has a
display at Wickliff Fine Art LLC in Zionsville, Ind. He also travels
to many art fairs across the country, and will head to art fairs in
Napa, Calif., and Sonoma, Calif., shortly after the Rising Sun arts
He is also a member of numerous artist associations, including the Indiana
Artist Club, Hoosier Salon, Oil Painters of America and the Indiana
Plein Air Painters Association.
In August, Harden visited Madison, Ind., to participate in the Madison
Art Clubs Artfest, a series of art events that include
a plein air paint out and the annual Madison Art Competition and Exhibition.
He displayed his works at the annual Madison Chautauqua Festival of
Art for several years, as well.
Harden is looking forward to the Rising Sun Festival of Fine Arts and
Crafts. Its a new festival, so it may take some time for
it to build, but I think it will be interesting, he said. The
festival is definitely a great thing for the area.
For more information about the Rising Sun Festival
of Fine Arts and Crafts, visit: www.risingsunartfestival.org.
Back to September 2008