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Beautiful glass and copper three-dimensional pieces by Jacques Bachelier, Nashville, IN, drew admiring glances from visitors to the 30th Annual Cedarhurst Cart Fair in Mt. Vernon.
Betty Moore, SLFP.com
CEDARHURST, IL (SWI-News.com) September 9, 2006 - The lovely grounds of the Cedarhurst Center for the Arts have been transformed every year into an art village with rows of white tents nestled under old growth trees.
The 30th Annual Cedarhurst Craft Fair became a colorful setting for families, friends and visitors to discover new pieces crafted by more than 100 regional and national artists.
Items included jewelry, pottery, bird houses, Christmas decorations, quilts, wearable clothing, furniture, toys, leather accessories, wind chimes, garden art and other collectibles. Many artists displayed their photography, watercolors, metal sculptures and mixed media.
Many fair-goers have come every year to enjoy the creative artwork and craftsmanship by artists from across the country.
Twenty years ago, Donna and Bill Ayers, Carterville, IL, brought a sculptural box created by Steven Martin, Carterville, IL. On Saturday afternoon, they visited his booth to select another one. "This box is for the second generation," laughed Donna.
Over the years, Steven developed a unique bandsaw box technique to transform wood into beautiful boxes that were also functional. Visitors to his booth were amazed to see how the boxes opened by pushing the eye of a fish or a series of shapes. Velvet covered drawers provided places for jewelry or other items.
Tom and Valeria Baker, Springfield, IL, were delighted with the sculptural pieces created by Alan and Rachel Haynes, Altona, IL, from recycled metal and items found on a farm. "We have a nice art fair in Springfield," said Valeria, "but they have more unique and affordable items here."
When asked what inspired Alan to create metal sculptures, he responded that he came from the farm and had the parts. "We started out with the barrel lids. We drew a cat on a barrel lid, cut it out and gave it away as a Christmas present. Since then, we've used the recycling aspect all the way through each piece and it just keeps growing."
Slightly rusted metal wheels, well-used sewing machines, tools, cans, wire and an assortment of nuts and bolts come to life as dogs flying a plane, paddling a canoeing and catching fish (alias pliers).
"I used to farm, so I've welded forever," said Alan with a quiet laugh. "The dogs are fun to make because you can give them so many different expressions, shapes and faces."
The fair provided an opportunity to visit personally with artists and learn more about life experiences that inspired their work.
Betty and Ron Criley, Marine, IL, enjoyed a friendly conversation with watercolor artist Bill Pickle, Huntingsburg, IN, as he worked on an illustration of a barn in his booth.
"I love detail because it carries over from designing furniture," stated Bill. "If I didn't get things right, it could screw up the works," he laughed. "I went to the University of Illinois to study industrial design and received a degree from the College of Fine Art. "I've spent most of my working years designing and illustrating furniture. Now I just enjoy painting and meeting people at art fairs."
Toe-stomping music by Alvin Jett & the Phat noiZ Blues Band, followed by Dan Seals were enjoyed by fair-goers seeking a shady spot under the large tent in the beer garden on a warm Saturday afternoon. Several visitors listened to the songs while sitting in oak rocking chairs crafted by Michele & Doris Stone, Dixon, KY.
The tantalizing aroma of funnel cakes, barbecue sandwiches and taco salads mixed with homemade pies and popcorn drew hungry fair-goers to the food court behind the Mitchell Museum.
The two-day event also featured the Kids Creation Zone, an explanded children's area with special activites for kids 10 and under. Many families boarded the Lions Club train for a ride through the woods to the Creative Art Center.
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