This year the weather could not have been better for Art in

the Park. Some years it has been cool to cold, some years windy, and some years

cool damp weather. This year there was a cool breeze and a lot of sunlight. The

only thing that vendors complained about was the damp grass and mosquitoes. If

they did not have mosquito spray, they just went out and bought some and let

the day begin. As the sun did its job, the grass dried.

Spaces were made available for 165 booths and there were

only a couple of spaces not used. There were vendors that had been to the event

for years and there were a few new vendors. By noon all of the parking adjacent

to the Lutcher Theater was filled and parking spilled onto all the streets

around the area; the lot at the Stark Art Museum was also filled.

Vendors ran the gamut from simple handcrafters to

established professional artists. One artist was Roy Alba, an Orange native now

living in Oklahoma City. Roy is a returning artist and has been at Art in the

Park several times. One of Roy’s paintings is of the HMS Masterful, one of the

seagoing tugs built by Levingston Shipyard for the Royal Navy during WWII. On

Alba’s website,, he has several paintings of Orange in the older

days. His painting “5th and Main 1949” shows the Bengal theatre and

Green’s Department Store. The painting “9th and Green” shows the old

Link mansion and the Presbyterian Church next to it. He has several paintings

of the old train depot, and one titled “USS Orlek”, the last destroyer of its

class built during the war years at Consolidated Shipyard.

Award winning artist Ann Houfpauir returned with her western

art, landscape, wildlife and floral art. Houfpauir’s western art is taken from

everyday life; several of her pictures have been entered in competition. In

2010 she placed second in a nationwide competition, this year she painted a

group of Longhorn cattle with a black and white Longhorn in the middle. It was

a very unusual pattern for the cattle and beautifully done by Houfpauir. She

also had egrets, other swamp scenes, and her florals. Hofpauir’s work is available

online at:

Orange native Sylvia Dickey Smith, the author of the Sidra Smart

detective series set in local Orange locations was at her booth taking orders

for her newest in the Sidra Smart series “Growing Up Dead”. She was also

autographing copies of her other books for customers. The newest book is

currently available in the Kindle edition and will soon be published in the

print edition. Smith’s books are available for ordering at:

Sue and Dan Ryder of Island Times have been regulars for

several years. They have the line of Island Time Furniture, Adirondack style

beach chairs. Sue Ryder’s current project is painted wine glasses and wine

bottles. The bottles are both clear and colored bottles with a variety of

painted designs. The bottles may be custom painted to the customer’s special

order or from a variety of designs from the Ryder’s catalog. The paint is a

special paint that is set in an oven after painting. This makes it a very permanent

paint that will even hold up to vigorous dishwashing. Ryder’s art may be

ordered from:

Jimmy Matthews retired from Temple Inland after 40 years and

went into his hobby of metal casting nearly fulltime. Matthews is currently

casting only aluminum, but is up grading his furnace to be able to cast bronze.

Matthews started with the casting of pet memorial plaques and has since gone

into trailer hitch covers, home address plaques for both the home mailbox and

to be mounted on the home. One item prominently displayed was a mock-up of Matthews’s

tombstone. It was cast of aluminum, with birth and death dates filled in.

Several of Matthew’s friends had comments to make to him about that.

Food vendors this year lined the streets from Front the Main

and over to Seventh Streets. Boy Scout Troop 1 of Orange sold cold soft drinks

and the other vendors sold all the usual “fair foods.”

This year’s music covered venues from bagpipes by the Lone

Star Pipe Band, to the great Ezra Charles. There was also strolling music by

the Sweet Adelines and the Pipe Band.

Art in the Park

continues to get bigger and better each year. Attendance is always free as is

parking. The next event sponsored by the

Orange Convention and Visitors Bureau will be the Orange Spring Music Fest,

scheduled for May 19,