Lawn chairs and picnic baskets filled the quad last night as families and friends gathered to enjoy the Muncie Symphony Orchestra’s annual “Festival on the Green.”
The event, hosted by the Muncie Arts and Culture Council, offered local artists from Muncie and surrounding areas the opportunity to showcase their work.
Artists sold everything from stuffed animals to handbags. Mary-Ellen Bertram, who runs a photo studio in Farmland, was selling greeting and note cards featuring her photos.
“I’ve gotten into this whole line of fine art as opposed to portrait work, and I needed a venue to show it off,” Bertram said. “You take a photograph and you fall in love with it and you think, ‘maybe someone else will too.’”
Bertram is an active member in the arts scene, participating in several arts fairs in the area, the most recent being the “YART” sale in downtown Muncie in early May.
“There are a lot of artisans out there, and it’s a really nice place to support small businesses and all the things that help keep a community strong,” Bertram said.“There’s been a lot of love and thought put into all of the stuff people selling here tonight. I think it’s very important for the community to have venues like this and for people to support them as opposed to going to buy all your stuff at Wal-Mart.”
Bertram’s stand received several visitors throughout the night, including President Jo Ann Gora.
Jesse Salinas, a junior business major, said he participated in the event to gain experience.
“I put a lot of work into this particular show because I was told it would have a large turnout, which it does,” Salinas said. “I’m getting great feedback.”
Setting up a booth at the event is free.
“The great thing is as an artist, it’s free and it never hurts to get out here and do something like this because you get to market yourself,” Salinas said.
Charles Chandler, a Muncie resident, said arts events like these are a good way for families to be exposed to classical music.
“It’s important that the kids be exposed to different styles of music, instead of just what they hear on the radio or on the concert stage,” Chandler said.
Chandler attends the event each year in order to be around friends and music, and he said as long as he’s alive, he’ll be back next year.