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HOT ARTISTS SAY FEST STILL TOP-NOTCH

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After a year's worth of planning, having the Utah Arts Festival last five days seems short to organizers, says director Robyn Nelson. But for the dozens of artists who manned outdoor booths, the festival was plenty long.

"It's definitely one of the longest," said Paul Goodspeed, a leather artist from Eureka Springs, Ark. A seasoned festival artist, he attended 19 last year, and said that generally other arts festivals last two to three days for a few hours each day. The Utah Arts Festival goes from noon to midnight, except Sunday when it closes at 10 p.m."But the fact is, it's one of the best shows in the country," Good-speed said.

One reason he returned for his fourth year, he said, is the kind of patron the festival attracts. "The quality of a person that comes here really makes it," he said. "They have knowledge about what they're looking for. That's a reflection on Salt Lake City."

Goodspeed also said the jury-selection process was quite organized, as did Donna Doersam, Paso Robles, Calif., a paper artist at the festival for the first time.

Yet Doersam said the festival's long hours made it extremely difficult, especially because she alone was manning her booth. That meant she couldn't leave to rest or get a drink, despite the extreme heat that prevailed all week at the Triad Center.

Furniture artist Craig Windom, another first-time participant, agreed. "It's brutal in terms of hours. You try to keep yourself together so you can function by the end of the night when it's cooler and people are buying more."

Still, there were many things Windom liked. "Basically, I think it's a nice setting. I think I will come back."

Whether you consider the Utah Arts Festival short or long, there's only one more day to catch it, and this is it. Before art vendors pack up their wares and numerous performing artists step off the stage, visit the Triad Center to see just how interesting art can be.

The Artists Marketplace, "Real Art" and Art in Public Places are open all day at the festival, from noon to 10 p.m. The Children's Art Yard is open from noon to 9 p.m.

Other activities are listed as follows:

- Park Stage: Utah Travelers Gospel Singers, noon; Johnnie Jr., 1:30 p.m.; Riverbed Jed, 3 p.m.; Rooster Blues Band, 4:30 p.m.

- Plaza Stage: Insatiable, 5:30 p.m.; Orquesta Pachanga, 7 p.m.; Saliva Sisters, 8:30 p.m.

- Festi-LIVE! (in the Delta Center): Dmitry Rashkin, puppeteer, 2 p.m.; Gina Bachauer International Competition winner, 3:15 p.m.; TheatreWorks West: "Utah Shorts," 4:15 p.m.; Kismet & Kairo by Night, 5:30 p.m.; Another Language, 6:30 p.m; 1994 Utah Arts Festival short-short story competition winners: Jan Stucki, Julie Hichols, Kirstin Scott, 7:30 p.m; "Voices of Diversity" by Hector Ahumada, 8:30 p.m.

- Artists at Work: Steve Garavatti, wood turning, 1 p.m; Pamela Gazale, salt sculpture, 3 p.m.; Tracy Peterson, electro-acoustic composition, 5 p.m.

- Literary Arts - Book Illustration & Literary Guests: Scott Snow, illustrator and Michael McLean, author, "Distant Serenade," 2 p.m.; John Cook, illustrator and set designer, Disney books, 4 p.m.

Admission is $5 for adults, $2 for seniors age 62 and older, $1 for children ages 2-12 and free for children under age 2. A family pass, admitting two adults and up to four children, is $11.