Santa Maria Sun / Art
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 30
The Solvang Faeriefest is a celebration of the imagination ancient and new
BY JOE PAYNE
All around us, at all times, the world of Fae is in full force. Or at least that’s what the ancient bards told us. For some, the world of faeries and nature spirits isn’t far off at all. It’s just behind the shroud of our imagination.
The Solvang Faeriefest is a chance for locals to lift the shroud and journey to a magic world. Though named after faeries, the event is for anyone who enjoys fantasy and imagination, event promoter and organizer Clau Orona explained.
“It’s a way to escape the mundane and explore a world that we don’t usually get a chance to explore,” she said. “Art and music festivals like these encourage us to become the characters that we like.”
From faeries to pirates, medieval knights to time-traveling steam punks, the festival hopes to entice locals with handmade arts and crafts, live music, interactive presentations, and artistic fantasy-inspired environments.
“I think in these times, when life and technology move at such a fast pace, it is important to have events that let us slow down and encourage and support arts and crafts and local artists,” she said. “It’s very important to have a place for local bands to play and for local artists to show and share their work.”
The festival definitely attracts acts you wouldn’t find in an average venue. Paige Wiatt Aerial Arts features acrobatic ribbon dancing, the Tribal Gallop drum and dance troup features old-world rhythms, and D.On Darox and the Melody Joy Bakers sound as out-of-this-world as the name of their band.
“There aren’t a lot of events that feature live music that are available to people under 21, so I feel that it’s very important to create environments that are safe for all ages,” Orona said. “It’s also great to have an occasion to wear a costume.”
Orona, a costume designer by trade, has done much to prepare for the festival besides organizing it. Many of the costumes worn that day will be her work, she explained, as will be the immersive fantasy environments that will be found throughout Solvang Park.
“I am the creator of the mushroom forest, and the decoration of the stage is also my work,” she said. “I am working with an artist from Santa Maria named Robyn Nava who helps me design fantasy environments. We have what we call ‘The Labyrinth,’ which is made out of various fabrics and designs and includes magical creatures.”
The symbol of the faerie, or any other nature deity, seemed like an appropriate one for an event in Solvang, Orona explained, as she already sees Solvang as a kind of fairy-tale town.
“Almost every culture prior to Christianity had stories of supernatural beings that represented the livelihood of nature,” she said. “And even today we have those stories and there has been a revival of classic stories and tales that get remade to appeal to our modern times.”
The ultimate goal of the event is to encourage creativity in a group setting, and to hopefully spur creativity after the fact as well.
“All these things bring out our dreams and encourage us to be more creative and … to explore ideas that we don’t explore in our mundane life,” she said. “I would encourage anybody to think outside the box and make the best with what they have. That’s something very unique that art has to teach us.”
Arts Editor Joe Payne may or may not be a time-traveling steam punk. Contact him at email@example.com.
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