Once-hated mesquite now darling of artists

Art festival set April 16-18 with unique wood items

SAN ANGELO—The Mesq Art Festival is returning to San Angelo on April 16-18 and promises to showcase the best mesquite artisans.

Roger Ellison, festival director, said many juried artists from around the state and beyond will gather at Fort Concho for a three-day celebration of the exquisite and attractive mesquite.

“Besides seeing the absolute best of mesquite, visitors will enjoy one of the largest gatherings of mesquite artisans,” Ellison said.

The festival, like mesquite wood itself, has come a long way since the first fest held in Fredericksburg in 1992 and is still going strong.

Visitors w ill be treated to collections of sculpted wood from the world’s finest mesquite craftsmen. Items range from large furniture items such as beds, dressers and chairs made entirely from mesquite, to craft and gift items such as turned lamps, scroll work, pen and pencil sets, Christmas tree ornaments, gun stocks, sculpted vases and dimensionalized artwork, all crafted of mesquite.

Once viewed as a nuisance, mesquite has become the darling of architects and retailers.

Mesquite’s growing appeal comes in part from the high prof ile of fered by the Texas Mesquite Association and both festivals, according to Ellison. A r ticles praising mesquite’s quality and value have appeared in such magazines as Texas Highways, Veranda and Fine Woodworking.

“Architects now vie to install mesquite accents in upscale homes,” Ellison said. Mantles, doors, flooring, art items, dining sets, tables, and other furniture are increasingly requested in mesquite.

Hours are 4 to 9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Items are available for purchase, with food and drink sold on the grounds, and free parking.

More in for mat ion on t he Texas Mesquite Art Festival and the association is available by calling the fest office toll free at 1-866-839-3378.

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2010-01-14 digital edition

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