Spending the first weekend in May in Eureka Springs (along with the 2nd, 3rd and 4th) is one of the best times you can have in Arkansas, thanks to the crazy amount of things you can do and see at the idiosyncratic mountain town's May Festival of the Arts. Tonight, at the Auditorium, it's the 5th annual "Africa in the Ozarks" event, a celebration of African music, dance, food and culture. Tomorrow, it's the Artrageous Parade of artcars other art vehicles, special exhibits at galleries and restaurants and more music.
A quick rundown of artists and venues: the "Eureka Springs Invitational Art Show" is at Artifacts Folk and Fine Art Gallery, 37 Spring St.; "Electric Vision: Creative Energy Project" brings 20 images made from light to Basin Park; Melanie Myhre photographs are at DeVito's Restaurant, 5 Center St.; Wayne Summerhill is teaching a metal sculpting class at ESSA (Eureka Springs School of the Arts); Betty Johnson's pet portrats are at Eureka Thyme, 19 Spring St.; student art is at Iris at the Basin, 8 Spring St., sibling artists Hank Barnes and Helen Thomas have a show at Out on Main Gallery, 1 Basin Spring Ave. and the annual "Art as Prayer" show is at Studio 62, Hwy. 62 W.
Artists are also invited to make portraits of the animals at Turpentine Creek Animal Refuge for sales to benefit the refuge, through May 8.