Artist and underwriter deadlines are drawing near for those wishing to take part in the second SEK Art Fest, which celebrates the area’s love of football.

While proposals and patterns of all sorts can cover the giant football canvasses that will be stationed around the area this summer, those designs are officially due Monday and should be submitted as soon as possible.

"This year, we want people to think of it as an empty canvass," said Leslie Harris, chairwoman of the SEK Art Fest.

Last year, 26 coal buckets were displayed throughout the summer months and sold in September, but the festival is growing and 36 artists will be selected this year to add their touches to football statues, which will be available in early May and will be publicly displayed from June to October.

"The coal buckets brought a new excitement to Downtown Pittsburg," said Jeff Wilbert, downtown district coordinator. "In visiting with the merchants, they all were very pleased with the additional foot traffic which the coal buckets generated. After a successful first year, I think the merchants will find new ways to market their stores."

The festival also has been a draw for those outside of the area.

"SEK Art Fest has been a great addition to our community," said B.J. Harris, Crawford County Convention & Visitors Bureau Director. "The idea that art objects compliment some of our largest events gives us an advantage when inviting these organizations back to Crawford County. Plus, SEK Art Fest offers another great event for visitors to see when experiencing our community."

Leslie Harris said three art-related jurors will review the submissions and will choose 36 artists based on the designs submitted.

Artists may download the application from the web site at www.sekartfest.com, create their concept on the form provided and then upload the concept and other art samples on the same site.

The Art Fest also continues to seek underwriters, who will be able to choose which artist they will sponsor and the location for that football on a first-come, first-served basis, as well as advertising and recognition throughout the festival.

Those wishing to become underwriters may contact Leslie Harris at 620-308-6392 or mrs_leslie_harris@yahoo.com.

"People are still talking about last year’s event, so there’s great momentum for this second year," she said. "This is a wonderful opportunity to not only support our community and the arts, but it also puts those businesses and artists who participate in the limelight for several months of the year."