Sixteen-month-old Ayenna Mulder tries her hand at painting at Art by the River over the weekend. Assisting Mulder is her grandmother Tamara Walls-Muise.
By Ron Giofu
For the 49th consecutive year, arts and crafts lovers came to Amherstburg for the show that benefits the Gibson Gallery.
Art by the River was held last Saturday and Sunday at Fort Malden National Historic Site with a full house of artists, crafters, musicians and vendors on hand. Some exhibitors experienced their first show while others have been there for a number of years but all seemed to enjoy the show.
Maria Jose, a 16-year-old Windsor student, was an exhibitor for the first time in Art by the River and noted it was one of several regional shows she has participated in this year.
“I’ve been drawing since I was seven-years-old and painting since I was ten,” explained Jose.
Jose said she is getting her name and work out into the public eye by going to shows like Art by the River.
“I’m getting exposure, meeting people and sharing my work with others,” she said.
Calling the crowds at Art by the River “a great audience,” she said she received a lot of feedback on her work as well.
“It’s just a wonderful experience,” said Jose.
Art is something Jose said she hopes to pursue as she gets older, adding she would like to find work in the arts.
“My parents tell me it’s a gift from God and to nurture it,” she stated.
Joy Purdy and Tim O’Brien of Faerhaven display some of the hand lotion they had on display at the Aug. 29-30 Art by the River.
Joy Purdy and Tim O’Brien brought their business, Faerhaven, to the show complete with the soaps, lotions and similar goods they produce. They have been coming to Art by the River for about six years.
“It’s a nice atmosphere,” said O’Brien. “The people are pleasant, it’s enjoyable. The organizers have done a great job.”
“It’s very well attended and very popular,” added Purdy.
Martin Henly of Henly’s Leather Shop came to Amherstburg again this year. He said it was nice to come to a show where it was clear that other exhibitors took the same care and pride in their work like he does in his.
“It’s one of the better run shows,” Henly stated. “The quality is there. I do very good work and I want to sit next to people who also do good work.”
Elaine Douglas of LaSalle and her husband Russ returned to Art by the River this year and reported it went well. Douglas creates “Grannie Memory Bears,” teddy bears created from clothing of loved ones who passed away. The idea came to Douglas after their daughter Wendy died Dec. 14, 2003.
“A lot of people bring loved ones clothing and I make them teddy bears,” she said.
Her own experiences doing that brought her closer to her daughter, she said.
Douglas said she enjoys Art by the River and noted the efforts organizers make in promoting and staging the twp-day event.
“They do a lot of work on this show,” said Douglas.
(NOTE: The original version posted Sept. 1, as well as the version in the print edition, states the event was in its 48th year. To clarify, this was the 49th annual Art by the River.)
Lynda Tilt and Betty McCready of Transformed Treasures were among the exhibitors at Art by the River.