Before I rave about this must-attend Rochester event, I think it’s important for you to know that I have zero artisan ability. However, I have always wanted to be an actual artist – in high school I took up writing poetry, became an (unsuccessful) choir member, joined the one act play and tried my hand at water color painting, even adopting the uber creative artist name Emile (yes, that’s about the extent of my originality – replacing the ‘y’ in my name with an ‘e’). So here’s your fair warning – I am a total wannabe!
Thrilled to have an actual day (I mean few hours - I spent the morning stuck in the Chicago O’Hare airport for the 523rd time) to myself (I usually spend my free time chasing after the two most amazing but exhausting kiddos ever), I couldn’t wait to check out the talents of the many actual artists that we have in the Rochester area.
|Left to Right: Marni, Isaac, and Owen; Alli from ArtOrg spreading the ink on Owen's creation; the finishing touch by the steamroller.|
After admiring the skills of a local henna artist, I was drawn to a fabulous wooden bowl collection. While browsing and contemplating spending large sums of money (I had no doubt my husband would also think that our nightly salads deserved to be accompanied by beautiful wood grains), I met creator Brad Lynne who showed me my favorite piece of the day – a breathtaking wooden lamp. Brad proudly explained that the lamp was made from 2,976 pieces of ash, black walnut, quarter saw and white oak and took 5 weeks to create- wow! Next up, Jean Keefe - a talented Rochester native who layers paint to create textural works of art that are biblically inspired and pulled from scripture.
|Left to Right: Henna artist; Brad Lynne's lamp; Jean Keefe and I pose next to her creation.|
Feeling thirsty, I grabbed a cold beer and was drawn to the ARTiStage, where the Chris Millner Band was playing. Little did I know that I was enjoying the strumming of Cindy Lauper’s lead guitarist from the 80’s! Not even a little rain could dampen the spirits of the crowd, as they sang along to “Can’t You See”.
While local fan favorite Hoag Park was getting ready to take the stage, I had a chance to connect with band member Dianna Park, whose thoughts I asked about ARTigras. She quickly exclaimed, “I love it! It’s a great community service with lots of different kinds of music in one venue on one day, showcasing all the talent in town.” I had a moment - looking around, seeing people of all ages and no doubt all walks of life swaying along to Dianna’s beautiful voice – and guess what, the rain stopped.
|My daughter's collection|