The Shafter Press - Serving the community since 1922

By Jamie Stewart
The Shafter Press 

Festival brings together art lovers, art makers


February 21, 2019 | View PDF

Jamie Stewart | The Shafter Press

Larry Starrh's original productions, such as last year's "Dangerous Curves," are a staple of the festival.

Do you remember when you were a kid and you and a few of your friends would put on a show for the neighborhood? You went by the old adage, "If you build it, they will come."

Well, a group of individuals from Shafter, including Larry Starrh, Randy Toews, Mike Ktrola, and a few others, decided to do this very thing. They thought that if they put on a show that would showcase all of the local talent there is in Shafter and the surrounding area, people would come.

Fast forward a few years later, and he dream has been realized. The Annual Colours event in Shafter will kick off with a Spaghetti Dinner on Thursday night, followed by the debut of Larry Starrh's new production, "Engaging Adam."

Colours is a celebration of the arts that is held over an three-day weekend – and more -- showcasing a variety of "transformed art" in many forms, from canvas, sculpture, film and stage, all the way to wine, food, activities and music.

The festival fits with the community, featuring residents who have a wide range of talents and interests. Mike Ktrola, a founding member of the event, commented from the beginning, "This is truly a celebration of the multicolored makeup of art in Kern County. It is a historical event as we celebrate and highlight transformed art."

Starrh added: "There is a lot of talent here, from musicians and conductors, to actors and playwrights, to painters and sculptors. Many of these people have their day jobs where their canvas may be a field, and their brush a tractor."

From those starry-eyed dreams to the present day, the event has continued to attract local residents, as well as many from out of town, who enjoy the festival, with all of its options. Mark Hamilton, who found out about the festival years ago from a story on the television news, enjoys the chance to experience so many activities and shows in one weekend.

"I have been coming here for five years. It is amazing to be able to come to a small community like this and find such an event, with so many mediums of art in one place. Usually, you would have to go a big city for this."

Hamilton said that he is looking forward to Starrh's newest play, noting that the stage shows are one of his favorite events at the festival.


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