Another successful Rock Island Arts and Craft Festival was held this past weekend at Rock Island State Park. The show observed its 40th anniversary, which is sponsored by members of the Rock Island Lions Club.
A variety of arts and craft items were displayed in booths set up in the scenic Sand Bar area of the state park, providing a lovely panoramic view of the water and natural rock wall.
First-time craft show exhibitors, photographer Michael Brooks and potter Alexie Smith, enjoyed the show, meeting people and talking about their craft. Brooks resides in Rock Island, after moving from Nashville; and Smith lives in Nashville following a move from Kansas.
“I do a lot of family photos, real estate shots, landscapes and head shots for models,” said Brooks. “I also have hair and make-up artists available for shoots.”
Smith has been learning his trade since he was an eighth-grader, and is still working on improving the skill.
“I have talked to a lot of people this weekend,” said Smith. “I’m getting a feel for what the public wants because it’s a growing process for me.”
Even though there were some scattered rain showers on Saturday, most exhibitors felt there was good attendance.
“Saturday was good for me,” said longtime exhibitor Stella Patrick. “I sold a lot of my wreaths and barn wood signs.”
The Eletrik Revival Band performed Saturday, despite a shower or two.
Rock Island State Park rangers manned an informative booth, educating visitors about area spiders, snakes and other animals, as well as varieties of fish in the area waters.
They worked with the young people teaching them about primitive weapons, such as blow guns and arrows, as well as demonstrating how to start a fire with a flint rock and a piece of steel.
“We are so blessed to have their involvement,” said Lion Sandra Griffin. “They did a wonderful job with their children’s program, and also visiting with the visitors.”
Exhibitor Andrea Mooneyham was a hit with her upcycled book art display. She takes old books, and using a Skilsaw, she intricately cuts out letters of the alphabet or even a design in the middle of the entire book.
"It takes me about 20 to 30 minutes to do each book," said Mooneyham. "I have found it's the perfect way to re-purpose an item into a piece of home décor."
“All in all, it was a good show,” said Griffin. “We did well for our White Cane fundraiser, and that’s very important to us to provide glasses to those in need.”