Columbus Arts Festival draws crowds to Scioto Mile

Richard Borden leaned over a colorfully dyed pool of starchy water and handed Sharon Spector the end of a plain, silk scarf.

“How are your hands? Clean?” Borden, the owner of Shibumi Silks, asked outside his booth at the Columbus Arts Festival on Friday. “Because I’m going to get them dirty soon.”

Borden and Spector stood on opposite sides of the table and gently lowered the scarf into the water, letting the swirling dye soak into the delicate fabric.

As Spector wiped the dye from her fingers, her newly printed scarf was rinsed and wrung out. Her face lit up when she saw the unfolded pattern that she helped craft.

For Borden, making customers happy was one of the reasons he traveled from his home in Wallingford, Connecticut, to Downtown Columbus for the annual festival.

“This is one of Ohio’s greatest art festivals,” Borden said.

He was one of 300 exhibiting artists from 38 states and four foreign countries to find their way to the banks of the Scioto River. Joining him were vendors and about 1,100 performers.

Nine-year-old Eliza Porostosky was one of those performers. As she climbed one of the seven stages scattered around the festival to perform her dance, “Tahiti,” with Mahana Productions, her mother beamed.

“I think it’s great for her confidence,” said Tricia Porostosky, a Columbus resident. “She’s kind of quiet sometimes but here she gets on stage, she just has fun.”

Jami Goldstein, who helped coordinate the arts festival, said she is excited about what the festival offers the community.

“I think it speaks a lot to our quality of life in Columbus and the opportunity to see and be creative, to enjoy the community and people around you,” she said.

Jessica Bowden stood outside COSI and watched her kids play over a barrel of dry ice. McKenley, 4, and Kaisey, 2, waved their hands through the fog, their painted cheeks barely visible.

“My little ones love art and wanted to check out the art,” said Bowden, a resident of Heath in Licking County.

McKenley held out her hands, which also were covered in paint, and proudly declared that she had won a prize for doing five art projects. She smiled, and the butterflies on both of her cheeks fluttered.

The festival, which takes place along the

Scioto Mile and in front of COSI, continues today from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

ebohatch@dispatch.com

@emilybohatch

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