The two-day Plano Artfest will fill the streets of the Downtown Plano Arts District on April 27-28. Coming from simple beginnings in 2015, the event has grown every year since. For 2018 the Historic Downtown Plano Association and the Plano Art Coalition, who coproduce the event, have some exciting new additions in store.
One of the incredible new activities will be found in the Capital One Technicolor Experience, a collaborative effort from students and faculty members in the Arts and Technology program at University of Texas at Dallas (UTD). “This is a bold step for the event where we are creating a group of sessions that are about the infusion of art and technology,” says HDPA’s executive director, Alex Hargis. These sessions will be split up into three main focuses: 3D image mapping, the Public Interactive Research Lab (PIRL) and a panel discussion about theater and technology.
The 3D image mapping will be hosted by event1013 and will highlight outstanding end-of-the-year projects from talented UTD students. The PIRL is a graduate lab “where they try to address social issues in the world using technological interfaces,” says Alex.
Inside the ArtCentre of Plano, the PIRL will showcase a digitized version of the Aids Quilt, a memorial project that commemorates the life of people who have passed from HIV/AIDS. While the actual quilt is difficult to display because of its size, the people behind PIRL have digitized it so that the public could interact with the entire quilt.
For anyone interested in performing arts, the talkback panel inside The Cox Playhouse will include members from Plano’s own Black Flag Theatre Company. They are currently producing “Uncanny Valley” which explores the role of artificial intelligence and art. The playwright, Thomas Gibbons, will join the panel as well as some technology officers from Capital One.
Of course many old favorites will be back again as well. The Chalk It Up event and competition will be returning for its fourth straight year, as will the all-local Maker’s Market. Live events will include local artists displaying their talents outside of the ArtCentre, and musical artists like former “The Voice” star Kirby Brown will perform at McCall Plaza. Though the entire event is family friendly, there will be a specific kids’ zone in Haggard Park.
Whatever event or activity you choose to attend, Alex says the goal of Artfest is “to create unique experiences that you wouldn’t expect.” With all of these amazing, free events packed into just two days, Plano Artfest will surely make for an exciting weekend.
Plano Artfest is a free event for all ages, open to the community. Hours for the 2018 event are 5-9 p.m. on Friday, April 27 and 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Saturday, April 28.
Some of the performing artists for Friday night at Plano Artfest include Issac Tauaefa Band and Benton Lawson. Saturday afternoon will showcase performances from Children’s Chorus of Collin County, Plano Children’s Theatre, Plano Civic Chorus and Art Centre Theatre. Rob Bultongez and Hannah Kirby will be playing Saturday evening.Plano Artfest Website >