Whoever said an artist can’t bud in their mid-70s, might have to eat their words. At least if George Millsap, a retired engineer, has anything to say about it.

After more than 40 years as an engineer at Dupont, the Houston-native and resident of Orange over 50 years, is giving the right hemisphere of his brain a good workout. And this wasn’t an easy process for the Texas A&M alumni.

“I have difficulty loosening up in art,” he said. “I struggle with that; making things that just don’t look like a photograph.” But time has also enhanced his tenacity to capture some of the most beautiful landscapes on trips throughout Europe and the United States. And he has found a medium most forgiving – acrylic.

Millsap, who specializes in acrylics, will share some of these scenes he and his wife have enjoyed, along with a mix of artists from Center, Oklahoma, Beaumont, Port Arthur, Jewett, Texas; Buna, Groves, Deweyville, Pinehurst, Winnie, Houston and Lake Charles during the 8th annual Art in the Park event March 27. Many of the artists, working in a variety of media, including graphite, acrylics and watercolors, will sell completed works and also create new works on the grounds.

“It’s pretty satisfying to put something down and say I did that,” Millsap said. “Whether it’s writing a poem or building a cabinet; that’s myself.” Even though he got into art later in life, Millsap he is happy to share the flora, fauna, beautiful old buildings and narrow streets that often shape the canvas.

Also returning is graphite artist Richard Spraggins, who will add some black and white flair with children profiles and pop culture pieces. He will be giving onsite lessons in chalk, and is hoping to put the finishing touches on a piece depicting early Orange, the Stark Museum and an early model black Ford.

Spraggins is compelled to launch young people into art, so much so, he’s allowed them to sketch backgrounds and accent pieces in some of his current works. 

“I want them to know they can be creative if you have faith in them,” he said.

The eighth annual Art in the Park festival sponsored by Orange Convention and Visitors Bureau is set for March 27 from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. in Stark Park on Green Avenue. From 9 a.m.-3 p.m., the Stark Museum of Art will host an art-making booth and sponsor family activities inside the Museum. Visitors will get to create their own art and view work from Museum classes. At the Museum, docents will give tours of the new exhibition “Blooms: Floral Art in the Stark Collections” and provide more hands-on activities. 

About 100 different artists, food vendors have already reserved a spot. There are about 65 spots still available. Kid’s Alley will give young people a place to dig in put their own art skills to flight. A variety of bands will play from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Robert Frith will bring blues and jazz to the stage while Dixie Revue will add some New Orleans flair. Other bands include Cypress and Buffalo Blonde, which model more contemporary styles. 

Admission and parking are free, however pets and alcohol are prohibited. More information and vendor rates are available at the Orange Convention and Visitors Bureau office, 883-1011.