Art by the River celebrates 48th year

 

Karlie and Brodie Bula take part in the “L’il Artists Workshop” at Art by the River Aug. 23.

Karlie and Brodie Bula take part in the “L’il Artists Workshop” at Art by the River Aug. 23.

Crowds filter through Fort Malden National Historic Site during last weekend's Art by the River event.

Crowds filter through Fort Malden National Historic Site during last weekend’s Art by the River event.

Amherstburg author John Schlarbaum holds up a copy of his latest book "Off the Beaten Path" at his booth at Art by the River.

Amherstburg author John Schlarbaum holds up a copy of his latest book “Off the Beaten Path” at his booth at Art by the River.

Peter Gilbert and Wes Mussato of Red Raven Flutes were at Art by the River as vendors for the first time.

Peter Gilbert and Wes Mussato of Red Raven Flutes were at Art by the River as vendors for the first time.

By Ron Giofu

 

Arts and crafts lovers got a chance to enjoy an annual Amherstburg tradition that is almost five decades old this past weekend.

Art by the River was held last Saturday and Sunday at Fort Malden National Historic Site with almost 150 vendors in attendance. The event is presented by the Gibson Gallery.

Lou Roth, chair of the gallery’s Art by the River committee, called the number of vendors consistent with other years.

“We try and keep it at 150 every year,” he said.

Roughly 85-90 per cent of the vendors are returnees, he said, and many of the public that attend get to know the vendors and look for them each year.

“They are kind of loyal to the vendors. There are those who they wait to see,” said Roth.

Calling Fort Malden “the best venue in town,” Roth added they were expecting 9,000 to 10,000 visitors through the weekend.

“Everyone seems to be happy,” he said. “The vendors seem to be happy and that’s one of the most important things. I would call it a family atmosphere.”

Peter Gilbert of Red Raven Flutes attended Art by the River with his son last year and returned this year. He brought his Native “courting flutes” with him to display and sell. Gilbert said the fee to enter Art by the River was reasonable so he decided to become a vendor.

“I’m very happy with the price they charge here,” said Gilbert. “I think it is a nice venue. I’m impressed.”

Another reason he came as an exhibitor this year was the crowds he and his son saw last year.

“We were just blown away by the crowds,” said Gilbert. “They just keep coming, which is great.”

Amherstburg resident Tom Moon was also in his first year as a vendor, bringing his “Jokari” game with him. The game, which is played with racquets and a ball attached by an elastic cord to a block, is addictive, said Moon.

“It’s about exercise, fun and laughter,” Moon stated.

Art by the River also featured live entertainment, a “L’il Artists Workshop” and food vendors. Roth said it is the Gibson Gallery’s only fundraiser during the year and it helps operate the gallery and allows them to offer scholarships as well.

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