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 Eye of the Dog co-owner Billy Ray Mangham points to competitor Lotus as the audience rates her pot by their applause during the “Best 2 Pounds 2 Minute Pot Contest” at the annual Dirt Dauber Clay Festival last year. The pot making competition is one of many the center holds during the festival. Daily Record file photos by Denise Cathey

9th Annual Dirt Dauber Festival

Friday, May 17, 2019

Eye of the Dog Art Center is holding its annual clay-and-community-centric Dirt Dauber Festival this weekend.

Nine years in the running, owners of Eye of the Dog Beverley and Billy Ray Mangham have the clay festival down to a fine art. This year, they have more than 40 clay artists to display, create and demonstrate their wares and talents. Ceramic demonstrations and booths full of artists’ creations make for a family-friendly, as well as dog-friendly, community event. 

“I just think it’s a great way to bring the community together," Beverly Mangham said.” You don’t have to be an artist to come out and be somewhere beautiful on a beautiful day.”  

Dirt Dauber offers a free way to enjoy and learn more about clay arts on the art center’s 12-acre campus that is full of eclectic site features, art installations and unique grounds — including a large open studio, a gallery, private studios and a kiln. 

The Dirt Dauber Festival live music lineup includes local favorites like Pepper’s Blues, Wilkinson Quartet, Spring Band, City of Light, Tracy Weinberg and Tom Cat Trio. 

Attendees browse the stalls of local and visiting ceramic artists at the eighth annual Dirt Dauber Festival. 

As always, the festival is free to enter and park and will feature the customary free hot dogs and “pickles on a stick.” There will also be a children’s freeform clay play table for the younger attendees to enjoy.

One of the annual highlights of the festival is a number of clay-centric contests through which participants can pick up annual bragging rights and one of the much-coveted trophies created each year by Billy Ray Mangham. The competitions range from the more conventional contest of Tallest Cylinder, Longest Pulled Handle, Best Thrown Pot and Best Booth to the more unwonted and lively competitions for Best Blindfold Throwing and Best Ghost Throw — as in the famous 1990 Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore pottery-throwing scene in "Ghost." The competitions are open to all. Beverly Mangham said, “experience is helpful, but it isn’t necessary.”

The Dirt Dauber Festival is a two-day event starting on Saturday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and going from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Eye of the Dog Art Center is located at 405 Valley View West Road.

Eye of the Dog Art Center provides classes, workshops, studio and conference space, and hosts family-friendly community events throughout the year. In addition to the Dirt Dauber Festival, Eye of the Dog is also holding its annual Bingo and Bites fundraiser on June 8. For more information, go to the Eye of the Dog website.

San Marcos Record

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