Published: Aug 21, 2012 06:00 PM
Modified: Aug 20, 2012 04:42 PM
CARY - Ana Sumner is the poster child for local art.
Sumner retired at 52 to make sewn mixed-media art full-time. She sells almost exclusively to Cary residents. And her art literally is the poster for Saturday’s 36th annual Lazy Daze Arts and Crafts Festival.
As this year’s featured artist, she sewed thousands of stitches into an elaborate cloth mosaic that shows downtown Cary from above, its streets lined with the crowds of vendors and patrons that mark the yearly arts gathering. An image of the quilt-like art is the town’s icon for this year’s event.
“Lazy Daze gives the artist a wonderful opportunity to showcase and to share what they’re creating. It’s a good place to start,” said Sumner, who has only considered herself an “artist” for five years. On Saturday, she’ll join hundreds showing their wares to as many as 60,000 visitors.
The festival returns after suffering its first cancelation last year, during Hurricane Irene. It will be stuffed with about 350 painters, glass-blowers, crafters, jewelers, photographers and other creative types. The event also hosts two stages of music, a children’s section and ice- and wood-carving competitions.
In all, this year’s event will cost about $88,000 to put on, but the town expects to turn a profit from fees paid by artists and concession sellers. The town donates proceeds to local arts and cultural groups. Local artists pay $140; out-of-towners pay $160 to participate.
In its early years, the event was an anchor for a once-fledgling local arts scene; today it draws artists and artisans from nationwide. Town staff say another cancelation is unlikely, given the clear skies and mid-80s weather on the long-term forecast.
“We haven’t seen any hurricanes on the horizon,” said Cultural Arts Manager Lyman Collins. “We’re feeling pretty confident. It takes severe weather, meaning thunderstorms, severe winds,” to cancel the event.