Proud of East Texas: Edom Art Fair - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Proud of East Texas: Edom Art Fair

(KLTV) -

For over forty years, the tiny hamlet of Edom has hosted a festival for working artists, and through the years, the Edom Art Festival has become one of the premier art shows in the state.

Zeke Zewick, Marty Flanigan and Doug Brown are the very heart and soul of the Edom Art Festival. Brown originated the festival in 1972, after leaving California and settling in the tiny town of Edom a year earlier.

"The people here really wanted to keep things the way they were," he said.

But change was inevitable, especially with a festival that drew thousands of people. In 1976, Doug invited Zeke and Marty to join him as resident artists, and others joined them over time.

"He said, when you get out of school, we have a studio if you're interested, and so we'd been looking at Fredericksburg and some other places, and I don't know, we liked East Texas a lot being from West Texas, so we moved here," said Flanigan.

"We came over here a couple of times and decided that East Texas looked pretty nice," Zewick said.

Doug says that at first, to the Edom farming community, the artists were known as 'those hippies.'

"People would drive up in their fancy cars and walk out of my shop carrying brown paper bags, and so the rumor got out that we're dealers," he said.

Over time, even the most suspicious Edomite had to admit that the paper bags carried only freshly thrown pots, and that artists and craftsmen of the Edom art community were there to stay.

It's been 43 years since Doug sent out flyers for the first festival. 50-70 artists showed their goods at the festival each year, with Potter Brown's hand thrown pots always favorites.

"We make a thing called the batter bowl, which you can use for salad dressing and cakes and scrambled eggs, and we can hardly make enough of them," Brown said.

Even though Zeke and Marty started out as leather artists, their handmade jewelry keeps customers coming back for more.

Zeke says that many people at the festival are amazed that their goods are handmade.

"Educating the public that everything is not mass produced is the best thing about the art shows we do," said Zewick.

Artists from all over the southwest show and sell their work, including pottery, jewelry, woodworking, metal smithing, sculpture, painting, glass blowing, weaving and mixed media. Fabulous food from Edom churches and civic groups keep visitors' taste buds satisfied.

The Edom Art Festival is an event not to be missed. It is scheduled for October 17 and 18 from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Edom is located 15 miles west of Tyler.

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