Indiana Daily Student

Arts festival returns to Bloomington

Artists gather to exhibit wares on Fourth Street

People strolled along Fourth Street Saturday and Sunday, between Dunn and Lincoln streets, jostling and gawking at the wares spread out in the booths lining both sides of the street. It was a timeless scene, one replayed in every marketplace since the beginning of trade among humankind. During the past 24 years, the Fourth Street Festival of the Arts and Crafts has been a cornucopia of arts and crafts which heralds the end of summer in Bloomington.\nDennis Conway, husband of potter Ruth Conway, said there were unofficially about 18,000 people a day. "Of course," he said, "The big thing is, do you count the people walking by, or the people who buy?" \nThe weather was hot and muggy, but that wasn't all bad, said George Zajicek, a glass worker. "The heat slowed things down," said Zajicek. "But for the people people who did come out, it gave them more time to peruse the art. They spend more time looking and taking cards and maybe buy at a later time."\nLorraine Farrell, president of the Fourth Street Festival Committee, also commented on the weather.\n"This weather sure beats rain." said Farrell. "In 24 years, we've been fortunate enough not to have rain to speak of. Hopefully that will be true on the 25th."\nFarrell, a native Hoosier, studied fine arts at IU, then went to the Sir John Cass School of Art in London, England, an experience she termed "revitalizing."\nIn addition to festival artists such as Farrell, a jeweler, were a potter who makes both teapots and bird houses; a glass worker who makes brightly colored plates and bowls; a stained glass artist who makes fish, dragonflies and musical motifs; and a painter who does part of his work on the computer and part with traditional paint.\nConway was perhaps the only artist with a ceramic nameplate. Petite and proper in a very British way, yet quite friendly, she said teapots present a special challenge. \n"It has to be comfortable when you pour it, but it also has to look right." Conway also makes birdhouses for wrens. The little brown pieces of pottery are a little bigger than a soup bowl, with a small hole in them. They are, said Conway, just right. \n"They are the right size, four inches by six inches, and the hole is small enough that a sparrow can't get in and throw the wren out."\nEast of Conway's booth on the same side of Fourth Street was the booth of George and Phyllis Zajicek. Set out on the table were plates in a plethora of colors, brightly colored spots of paint locked inside the glass. Next to them were rippled dishes of clear glass with smoky streaks of dark gray running through the glass. A woman picked out one of the brightly colored plates to buy. George Zajicek thanked her, "That's a beautiful piece; thank you for appreciating it." \nDifferent from the glass works of the Zajiceks is the stained glass artistry of Jacques Bachelier. At Bachelier's booth, a couple contemplated the purchase of a stained glass dragonfly, deciding on one with bright blue eyes. The dragonfly was about 18 inches long with a similar wingspan. \nAll around his booth hung creations displaying a prism of colors. Bachelier said, "As artists, we want to do something new for people to see." Commenting on his display, he said, "It makes people smile. It looks like a beautiful garden."\nAcross Fourth Street, just west of Bachelier's booth, Ken Graning mopped sweat off his brow with a towel and gestured to a painting in progress of a butte out in the western desert. "That's Sedona, Arizona, between Phoenix and Flagstaff." In his painting, the earth was a rich brown and the sky was beginning to turn red, what many people call a "western sunset."\nGraning was an illustrator for more than 35 years, then "about 10 years ago, I began to paint for myself," he said.\nHe has since progressed to scanning his paintings into a scanner and then outputting them onto different types of textured surfaces. "It's a mixed media, a traditional/electronic painting technique." Graning said. "It's a bridge between traditional and electronic imaging."\nWith its wide variety of arts and crafts, the Festival was a show not to be missed, but there is always next year. Said Farrell, "We want to do some very special things for next year"

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