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May Fair and Solano College Partner to Bring New Art Events to Annual May Fair

An art auction, printmaking projects will be among the new additions to this year's fair i

By Brianna Boyd

Special to Dixon Patch

The Dixon May Fair and Solano College’s art department are teaming up to bring two new events to the 137th annual fair.

The college’s art department is collaborating with the May Fair’s Education Committee to provide exciting opportunities for area artists of all ages. Whether it is a high school student creating a watercolor painting, or a seasoned pottery artist, these new events will offer something for people who work in all mediums.

The fair’s art show – already a popular May Fair event – will be expanded this year to include the first annual juried art auction on May 9, the day before the fair opens for its four-day run. Art professors from the community college are working with fair officials on the show, designed to be a forum for artists in Solano County and beyond to exhibit and sell their work. All submitted artwork will be on display during the fair, and select pieces will be chosen for the auction.

Then, on May 11 and May 12, local artists and Solano County school groups will create large-scale printmaking projects in the Solano Steamroller Smackdown. The, 12-ton black and white steamroller will be rolling through the fair and spinning inky imagery created by participants. All prints and t-shirts produced will be for sale, with proceeds benefiting the college’s art department.

“This is going to bring a totally different aspect to the fair,” said James Bounds, the May Fair’s educational program development coordinator. “This is all part of our educational push. We want to show all the different aspects of art.”

Bounds joined the May Fair’s team almost a year ago and focused his time on bringing more educational components to the fair. Other plans for this year’s fair include a super science room with hands-on activities for children, and the “I Built a Bridge” competition between area high schools. The May Fair is collaborating with Solano County Office of Education on the bridge contest, which will test students’ abilities to construct bridges using Popsicle sticks.

For the new art component, the May Fair teamed up with Solano College, one of the few schools in the Bay Area to offer an AA degree in art history. Studio art courses at the school include painting, drawing, graphic arts, printmaking, and photography, and instructors will be assisting as jurors of the art auction, and in the Solano Steamroller Smackdown.

“When the Dixon May Fair invited us to collaborate with them, we jumped at the chance to create and display art at the oldest county fair in the state,” said Fine Arts Professor Jeanne Lorenz. “Solano College is looking forward to showcasing the high quality art made in Solano County. The Dixon May Fair is the perfect venue to highlight the diverse and interesting creations of artists.”

Artists who would like to participate in the art show are invited to enter up to three pieces of their work as competitive exhibits in the Dixon May Fair. Rules to entering art exhibits are in the 2012 Dixon May Fair Premium Book or available online at www.dixonmayfair.com. Solano College art faculty will jury the art and Lorenz and fellow artists and educators Marc Pandone and Ferdinanda Florence will select the work that will be included in the auction.  The auction, hosted by Lorenz and Janene Whitesell, will be from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. May 9 at the fairgrounds. Artists who participate in this fundraiser will receive 60 percent of the sales for their work. Solano College’s art department will receive 30 percent of the profits and the May Fair will receive 10 percent, which will cover the cost of the event.

“We are laying the ground work for our auction to evolve into a well-known and respected event,” Lorenz said. “This is the perfect chance to work within the local community, creating pathways between the vibrant art courses at Solano College and the local artists that feed and nurture our program.”

For more information on the art auction, contact Jeanne Lorenz at jlorenz@solano.edu

The 137th annual Dixon May Fair will open on Thursday, May 10 and entertain thousands of visitors through Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 13.  For more information, visit www.dixonmayfair.com.

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