Festival Fever

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

When the note arrived, Courtney Yoakum screamed. "I was so thrilled," she said. "It was such a huge compliment." Yoakum, a Columbus jewelry maker, was accepted into the prestigious Columbus Arts Festival as part of its new emerging artist program. The festival-which is celebrating its 50th year-is June 3, 4 and 5 in the Discovery District. For the first time, it will include 10 "emerging artists" from Central Ohio who will peddle their goods among the well-established set.

Yoakum, a graduate of the Columbus College of Art & Design, is excited to be among them. By day, the 36-year-old is director of Grandview's Open Door Art Studio, which teaches art to adults with developmental disabilities. By night, she creates this beautiful, hand-painted ceramic jewelry ($15 to $45) in her home studio (sometimes alongside her 9-year-old son, Owen). This program, she said, helps take the intimidation factor out of the festival. "I just feel," she said, "like it's going to open up a real opportunity."

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