Park City Kimball Arts Festival turns 45 |

Park City Kimball Arts Festival turns 45

Scott Iwasaki
The 45th annual Park City Kimball Arts Festival will converge on Main Street this weekend. The event, which is the biggest fundraiser for the Kimball Art Center, will feature 220 artists and an array of attractions for collectors, art lovers and families.

The Park City Kimball Arts Festival will celebrate its 45th anniversary this weekend.

The event, which runs from Friday, Aug. 1, through Sunday, Aug. 3, will, as it has in years past, take over historic Main Street.

The festival, which is the Kimball Art Center’s biggest fundraiser of the year, will feature more than 200 artists, both local and international, art demonstrations, live music, food, drink and children’s activities.

Robin Marrouche, executive director of the Kimball Arts Center (KAC) said new offerings this year will include a pottery demonstration and a community mosaic, sponsored by Mogul Financial and the Union Bank of Switzerland.

The pottery demonstration in the Kimball Art Center studio and this will give people a chance to get out of the heat, she said.

"If you’ve always wanted to try your hand and throwing a pot, or pretend your Patrick Swayze in ‘Ghost,’ you can come in and give it a try," Marrouche said with a laugh.

The mosaic, which will be designed by Katherine England, will give children and their parents an opportunity to work together on a hands-on activity that will be spotlighted once the KAC finishes its renovation, which is still in negotiation.

"The mosaic will become part of the Kimball Art Center’s permanent collection and will be displayed in the children’s area of the new building in the future," Marrouche said. "Katherine, who is helping with the design, has a huge following and it’s a big deal for us."

Another new activity for children will be print making.

The KAC is partnering with Speedball, who will provide nontoxic Akuna inks, and Recycle Utah, who is donating materials.

Kids and their parents will learn how to use brayers, ink and tiles to make prints, Marrouche said.

"We try to change up activities every year to give people exposure to different mediums," she explained.

Returning attractions will include chalk artists at the top of Main Street and the Taste of Art program, which involves 26 Park City-based restaurants this year.

One of the biggest changes is that the KAC’s relevant program, a residency that helps up-and-coming artists partner and work with established artists, will not be part of the festival this year.

"While we will exhibit the relevant artists’ works, we will move the residency to Aug. 16, a time where we can focus on the program itself," Marrouche said. "We want to give our undivided attention to these artists and it wasn’t possible during the arts festival."

Still, this year’s arts festival will feature more than 200 national artists. Of those, 70 are new to the festival this year, said Marrouche said. "There are artists from around the country that come to participate in the festival," according to Henderson. "We have a couple from Los Angeles and some from Boulder, Colorado."

The Kimball Art Center received more than 1,000 artists applicants this year, which is the most it has received to date.

As with in the past, the KAC created a jury to select the artists who will appear this year.

"Jury is comprised of a cross section of festival attendees," Marrouche explained. "We ask art enthusiasts, artists and collectors, but also people in the community, because we want to make sure we appeal to a wide range of demographics."

Each year the KAC changes the jury, because the festival has become a highly competitive event, according to Marrouche.

"The Smithsonian Magazine said we are among the Top 20 arts festivals in the nation," she said.

After the jury selects the artist lineup, a second jury determines which of these artists receive the Best of Show awards.

"Best of Show winners automatically get the opportunity to show in next year’s festival without having to apply," Marrouche said.

In addition to these nationally-known artists, the Park City Kimball Arts Festival also reserves 20 spots for members of the Park City Professional Artists Association, an organization comprised of visual artists from Summit and Wasatch counties that promotes exhibition, education, networking and offers exposure and support for local artists.

While most of the arts festival activities take place during the day, the KAC has partnered with other nonprofit organizations to expand the art experience for local residents and visitors into the night, Marrouche said.

These partners include the Sundance Institute, the Utah Symphony, the Egyptian Theatre, the Summit County Fair and Mountain Town Music, she said.

When the festival closes its gates Friday evening, the Sundance Institute will host a free screening of "20 Feet From Stardom," a documentary about background singers, in City Park.

That same night, the Utah Symphony’s Deer Valley Music Festival will present "The Music of Disney" at the Snow Park Amphitheater and the Egyptian Theatre will present stand-up comedians Dave Goldstein and Maria Shehata, Henderson said.

On Saturday, the Utah Symphony will continue its Deer Valley Music Festival with Super Diamond, the Neil Diamond tribute show and Mountain Town Music is present a free concert featuring the Honey Island Swamp Band at Canyons Resort.

Speaking of Mountain Town Music, the nonprofit has also programmed all the live music that will take place during the Park City Kimball Arts Festival.

"The Summit County Fair is also holding its annual demolition derby for those who want some more small-town experiences," Marrouche said.

This is the first time the KAC is cross promoting with the fair, because its administrator, Travis English, used to work at the Kimball Art Center.

"He knows the importance of co-sponsoring our events from a tourism perspective," Marrouche said.

On Sunday, the Park City Institute’s Big Stars Bright Night Concert Series will present Muscle Shoals concert featuring Lisa Fischer, who was in the film "20 Feet from Stardom," at the Snow Park Amphitheater.

"Zions Bank has come on as the overall Presenting Sponsor of the whole event, for which we are grateful and thrilled as they are so supportive of the Kimball Art Center and the community," Marrouche said.

The arts festival is a vital part of the KAC’s mission, because the money raised from the arts festival will help keep the center’s community programs and exhibitions free to the public all year long, said Kristie Henderson, KAC communications director.

"We program 15 to 18 exhibits each year in our three galleries," Henderson said. "We also spearhead an ARTS (Academic Resources for Teachers and Students) program, which is an outreach program that is an extension to our exhibits."

For that program, the KAC creates a lesson plan that is integrated in school’s core curriculum that teaches students about the exhibits.

"Schools can schedule a tour at the Kimball Art Center and use this program, but we can also take the program to their school," Henderson said.

Lastly, the money also funds the Young Artists’ Academy and EVA (Elementary Visual Arts).

"Young Artists’ Academy, a year-long program for up-and-coming artists and EVA is a joint venture the Kimball Art Center has with the Park City Education Foundation to help put a paid art instructor into every school," Henderson said.

The Park City Kimball Arts Festival will run Friday, Aug. 1, through Sunday, Aug. 3. Friday’s hours are 5 p.m. until 9 p.m.; Saturday’s hours run from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. and Sunday’s hours are 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Admission wristband are $10. Wristbands that are purchased on Friday, can be use for re-entry on Saturday and Sunday. For more information, visit