Culture » Festivals

Art on the Road



This coming weekend April Willy, a 25-year Carmel resident, will be heading once again to the Carmel International Arts Festival to show her art. You could look at it as a “home game” for Willy.

The local painter will be exhibiting her work at the 17th annual festival, the event she won “Best In Show” for in 2012.

Willy creates a wide variety of art, ranging from oils on canvas to wood panels, but this time around she will be showing mostly contemporary landscape pieces. She says she gets her inspiration from observing nature, then visually “rearranging” it to make it her own.

“It’s kind of like a modern approach to impressionism, if you can picture that,” Willy says. “It’s very stylized landscape painting, so that you may look at it and think it’s an abstract painting, until you really scrutinize it and see that it’s derived from a landscape.”

Willy holds many national accolades, including a National Society of Illustrators award and one from the Art Comes Alive competition (a national contest based out of Cincinnati). And to accompany those, she also earned an American Woman Artist award about 10 years ago.

Previous Best in Show winner, April Willy will exhibit her colorful works (seen here) at the Carmel International Arts Festival - Saturday. - COURTESY OF APRIL WILLY
  • Courtesy of April Willy
  • Previous Best in Show winner, April Willy will exhibit her colorful works (seen here) at the Carmel International Arts Festival Saturday.

She is looking to claim another award this weekend at the Carmel event, a show she says is always fun because of not only its close proximity to her, but its prominence.

“It’s kind of like close to home, but not really, because there’s quite a number of artists [in it] from all around,” Willy says. “There’s a very high level of artistic accomplishment, so you’re in good company, which isn’t always true on local things. It’s a juried show, so they try to keep the level of talent high.”

The Carmel International Arts Festival is held at the intersection of Main Street and Rangeline Road. Admission will be free, and it will run from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Arts Chairperson Dawn Fraley says the festival will showcase about 135 artists, as well as plenty of other entertainment for the public, including music, food and drinks.

“We have a few food vendors, but not too many, because there are plenty of restaurants in the area now,” Fraley says. “We will have a kids’ section … [and] live music and entertainment both days, all day Saturday and Sunday.”

The music ranges from jazz to rock and will feature a couple local acts, the King Court Singers and the Indy Jazz Futures. A full schedule of bands can be found on the festival’s website at

Fraley encourages everyone to browse around the area’s many shops and eateries while they’re in the neighborhood.

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