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Magnificent stilt-walkers dazzle festival-goers as they defy gravity at the Paso Robles Festival of the Arts last Saturday. Photo by Hayley Thomas.

2012 Festival of the Arts: A dazzling artistic display

June 1, 2012 - Paso Robles Press, C1

By Hayley Thomas

PASO ROBLES – Sunshine glinted off varied works of art Saturday, creating a virtual rainbow of creative expression in Downtown City Park for the Annual Paso Robles Festival of the Arts. Hundreds attended the event, stepping inside a world where sculptures studded the grass and glittering stilt-walkers were the norm.

Studios on the Park sponsored the fourth annual spectacle alongside the City of Paso Robles.Children tried out musical instruments, artists partook in a plein air quick draw and absolutely everywhere there was something colorful to see.

The festivities began Friday, May 25 with a guest lecture by Dr. Denise Sheridan of Cal Poly and Ashley Schwellenbach of New Times as well as a premiere party and keynote address by Stephen Doherty of PleinAir Magazine.

Sunday featured an art brunch and exclusive westside art tour. However, the real nuts and bolts of the event kicked off Saturday in Downtown City Park where more than 100 acclaimed artists showed a multitude of mediums.

Travel Channel's Sand Masters set up shop at the entrance of the festival, showcasing an intricate sandcastle emblazoned with the festival's logo. The event also hosted an outdoor fine art show and auction of the day's quick-draw work as well as a $1,000 art shopping spree giveaway.

George Jercich of Jercich Glass Sculpture in Los Osos showcased his work for the third year. He said he was impressed by the attendance and community support Saturday.

"The Central Coast is a growing center for the arts in California," said Jercich. " I am happy to be part of it."