Sunday, October 28, 2012

Arts and crafts

Those of us who can't draw, can't paint, can't pot --- can't even knit --- could come away from events like Saturday's arts fair at the Freight House, sponsored by the Lucas County Arts Council, feeling inadequate. If it weren't so much fun just to look.

This was one of two arts- and crafts-related events in Chariton Saturday. The other, larger because the venue is, was the Sisters Craft Fair at Carpenters Hall. Didn't make it to that one --- there's only so much time in a day.

I've never been very good at distinguishing between art and craft, but imagine there was a mix at both locations. Art (or craft) is in the eye of the beholder, I suppose.

I always figure I've got a stake in Meg Prange's innovative fabric art (above) since she bought the farm where I grew up when my parents retired and continues to live and work there with her husband, Larry --- who was along for the ride Saturday. Meg works very hard at her art and, during the season, always seems to be on her way to one regional fair or another.

The other professional artist at Saturday's fair whose work I'm most familiar with is Steve Scott (right), a talented painter who sells most of his work through galleries elsewhere since any artist who depended upon Lucas Countyans to make major investments in art would most likely starve. Steve's sidekick here is David West, who lives out near Lucas and also is an artist but was just visiting Saturday. We call these guys the "UFO boys" sometimes, since both are believers, which results in interesting coversations during Monday morning gatherings at St. Andrew's.

The key racks, by the way, are not exactly representative of Steve's work; it's just that he happens to be a trifle overstocked on these because of a summer project undertaken at someone else's behest that didn't quite work out.

Watercolorist Brenda Boatman, of Corydon, also was displaying her work Saturday.

As was Steve Gibson of Milo, whose detailed paintings of regional farm buildings are popular. He attends a few shows a year, but markets his work primarily via the Internet. In civilian life, Steve works for a printing concern in Urbandale, so I had a good time talking with him about not only barns but also printing presses.

There were at least three potters and I managed to visit with two of them, Bob Kling, of Indianola (above) and Brian Barkey of Knoxville (below). I really like ceramics, but am flat out of space either to display or store (until I knock something off a shelf and break it again).

I was quite taken by Evan Branson's gourd art, which has the advantage of being very lightweight --- and tends not to shatter into a hundred pieces if inadvertently dropped. Evan lives near Weldon.

The most popular display, with kids especially, may have been Mary Parks' Still Water Fiber Farm spinning demonstration. That's Mary, of Pleasantville, spinning directly from a very calm angora rabbit as sidekick Linda Graves looks on. I ran into Mary on Farm Crawl two weeks ago at Blue Gate farm, but fogot to ask if it was the same rabbit.

No comments: