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Artists like Nigeria's Jeribai Andrew-Jaja brave weather for Main St. Fort Worth Arts Festival

Artists brave weather for MAIN ST. Fort Worth Arts Festival
Artists brave weather for MAIN ST. Fort Worth Arts Festival 02:20

FORT WORTH – Art lovers are braving the rain for the 37th annual Main St. Fort Worth Arts Festival. Organizers are taking precautions with the stormy weather. The wet and soggy day didn't keep avid art fans from the festival.

"There's going to be breaks in the weather, and people should just come on out because it's a lot of fun," festival attendee Pat Martin said.

Festival spokesperson Claire Armstrong said organizers have plans in place for severe weather.

"We're open rain or shine. The only reason we would close is if we had lightning, really bad lightning, really bad thunder, hail," Armstrong said.

People covered up with rain jackets and umbrellas to take in the art, live music, and food.

"We have tens of thousands of people who typically come on Saturday, but as you can see in the background, there's not many people here because people don't want to get out in the rain," Armstrong said. "If you love art, this is actually the day to come."

A juried panel selected 213 artists from a pool of more than 1,200. Jeribai Andrew-Jaja, one of the featured artists, was born on another continent and now lives in Fort Worth.

"I was born in Nigeria, the western part of Africa. I was born into a family of five, and I lost my dad at a very young age," Andrew-Jaja said.

Andrew-Jaja moved to Fort Worth in 2013 and had a successful career as an engineer. He eventually started putting pencil to paper with no formal arts training and won the 2022 MAIN ST. Fort Worth Arts Festival's "Best Emerging Artist Award."

"I found the opportunity to exhibit my work, and it had so much reception that I could see transitioning my career from science to the arts," Andrew-Jaja said.

Most of his drawings take about 200 hours to complete and come from passion and emotion.

"I'm wanting to inspire someone. I'm wanting to add value to someone's life," Andrew-Jaja said. "I don't just draw. I create emotions and tell stories on paper."

Andrew-Jaja said his art reflects his life experiences, and he'll have a lot of inspiration coming soon.

"Part of my experience now is I'm an expecting dad. I didn't think I'd say that on TV, but hey, we're here, and I'm expecting a baby, so I'm already creating concepts that fit my reality," Andrew-Jaja said.

The expectant father plans to have a new round of artwork at the festival next year whether it's rain or shine.

The festival continues until 11 p.m. Saturday, and it'll be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.

It's expected to generate $4 million in arts sales and $28 million in economic impact for Fort Worth's hotels and restaurants.

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