Festival of the crayons: colorful way to embrace art

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Festival of the Crayons is a colorful display at 306 School of Mines Road set up for viewing during the Festival of the Cranes. The mastermind behind this creative colorful attraction is artist Rebecca Taylor.

The Festival of the Crayons is in its 15th year, Taylor said.

Elva K. Österreich/El Defensor Chieftain: Festival of the Crayons is a work of art on display during the Festival of the Cranes. The crayons will be up until the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

Taylor makes the crayons out of cardboard tubes. The tips of the crayons are constructed of hardware cloth and plaster, and some of them are made out of Styrofoam. After building the crayons, she paints them.

There are volunteers who store the crayons and set them up the weekend before the Festival of the Cranes. Taylor came up with the idea for the Festival of the Crayons at home while she was with friends. It was for fun, she said.

The crayons are arranged differently each year; two years ago, she started to add pencils along with the crayons, each with a different number.

She makes the crayons all at the same time, and it is very time consuming putting on color coats, she said. She buys all the materials needed to make the crayons herself.

“Making them is fun and rewarding,” Taylor said. “It’s public art for the town, and people come for no reason.”

There are currently 46 crayons in the festival, but Taylor’s goal is to eventually have 64. Taylor has her favorites that she keeps out of the show because in the past, some crayons have been stolen, but in the last two years, she hasn’t had any problems.

“I love watching children among the crayons standing in the yard,” Taylor said.

The crayons are taken down the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and are weather proof. Lots of local people are familiar with Festival of the Crayons and drop in, and hopefully people attending the Festival of the Cranes will get to see them as well, she said.