We are always blown away by the talented musicians and artists involved in Double Decker. But how does it all come together? We reached out to the brains behind the event, as well as one of the participating artists to find out what makes Double Decker so spectacular.
When does planning begin for each Double Decker?
“We begin working on Double Decker in October when we send out art vendor applications. Raising sponsorship funds also begins at this time, so planning for the festival happens about 9 months out of the year.”
“Art Vendor process: The art vendor selection process is done through a jury that is composed of local artists that the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council selects. The jury then ranks the artists. This year, we have 155 art vendor participating with many new art vendors as well as several that have participated in the festival all 20 years! As for music, we work with a production company who helps with our talent buying.”
“The festival has grown, particularly in the last 5 years with the expansion of the festival going to a day two-event. Friday evening kicks off the festival weekend with a special edition of Thacker Mountain Radio on the Double Decker stage (check out our website, www.doubledeckerfestival.com for specific times and bands). Saturday features an entire day of art vendors, local food vendors and music throughout the day. Plus, the children’s Square Fair area and the Oxford-Lafayette County Humane Society Best Dress Pet Contest. The Chamber of Commerce also puts on the Double Decker Spring Run with a 10K, 5K and 1 mile kids fun run (www.doubledeckerspringrun.com).”
Tell us about your childhood in Madison. Have you always had an artistic spirit?
“Henry David Thoreau said, "Live the life you have imagined." And since a very young age, I have imagined myself living the life of an artist and illustrator. In fact, my very first career aspiration in preschool was to be an artist for children's books. And even though I’m not doing my preschool dream job, I am living the life I imagined and getting to do what I dreamed of.”
“I am a graphic designer by day but would not be completely happy if my hands weren’t covered in paint (so I guess I’m a painter by night…and on the weekends!). My watercolor work is a blend of hand-painted and computer-enhanced designs with bright colors. This makes a perfect combination of both of my passions: a marriage of fine art and computer enhanced imagery. It allows me to express myself both creatively and artistically while providing the foundation for a commercial approach in the field of graphic design.”
“My pet paintings are when I get to experience that passion and magic of creating life on a canvas. I love expressing each animal’s heart and personality in oils. Dogs’ eyes are so expressive, and it is my joy to capture and convey the soul of each pet with my paintings.”
“Last year was my first Double Decker experience as a vendor and it was overwhelmingly amazing. I have always loved going to Double Decker and here I was doing exactly what I’ve always wanted to do and only one year out of college! I was surprisingly successful even though I had never been a salesman for my own work. My fondest memory was seeing my family and friends at such a fun event and seeing how happy they were to get to share in the excitement of my first Double Decker.”
“Double Decker was a major accomplishment for me last year because it was my first time to be a vendor, and now I am doing 2 more festivals this spring. I grew so much as an artist and enjoyed meeting other artists and vendors. I also really enjoyed meeting fellow members of the Oxford community that were excited about my art because they share the same love for our special town.”
“All of the University of Mississippi’s sorority houses as prints and pillows. Also I have watercolor prints of Oxford and Ole Miss landmarks. I now have all of Mississippi State’s sorority houses, which, surprisingly, was a big request at Double Decker last year. And will have giclees (canvas prints) of my pet portraits and the option to have your pet portrait commissioned.”
Thank you, Mary Allyn and Britton! For more information on Double Decker, please click here. To view Britton's website, click here!
The 20th annual Double Decker is sure to be extraordinary. Mary-Kathryn Herrington, a past Director of Visit Oxford, nails it when she describes what makes Double Decker so special. “I think the atmosphere of Double Decker is hard to beat. The Courthouse Square in Oxford is a pretty incredible place, and on a spring day seeing it filled with artists, families and the sound of music is really hard to beat!”