Cain Park Arts Festival Reaches 40th Anniversary
George Kozmon has served as director of the Cain Park Arts Festival since 1998, taking over for the late husband and wife, Audrey and Harvey Feinberg, who began the festival 40 years ago.
As a young painter enlisted to assist Harvey Feinberg shortly after Audrey's passing, initially Kozmon had zero interest in becoming festival director someday.
Kozmon remembers telling Harvey: "I'm an artist. You know, if you're trying to groom somebody for some kind of position here, I'm not your guy. I just want to paint."
However, when Harvey passed away, the festival needed a new director and Kozmon changed his mind. His career as a painter served him well once he became director.
"I'm an artist, I know how I want to be treated. I feel the comaraderie that we develop with our exhibitors as well as our audience is meaningful," Kozmon said.
Kozmon not only helps in artist selection and mapping out how all 150 of them fit into Cain Park, he is also their biggest champion when it comes to selling their art.
"Just like an engineer or a teacher or somebody else, they're bringing a value to the table," Kozmon said.
Kozmon's understanding of the artist mindset has helped shape the event as a place where festival-goers and artists can establish relationships.
"Something like a festival offers an opportunity for people to interact directly with artists. Galleries and museums usually aren't able to offer that option," Kozmon said.
Local, visual-art lovers get the oppportunity this Friday through Sunday as the Cain Park Arts Festival marks four decades at the corner of Lee and Superior roads in Cleveland Heights.
Listen to the entire interview: