Art Walk wades through wetness

Kids look at art work on display at BG City
Schools Elementary Art Show which is part of Art Walk. (Photos: J.D.

About the time Art Walk was getting underway Saturday, the sky opened up and
delivered a sodden mix of snow, freezing rain and rain.
That downpour passed. The weather got better, but never good.
Still, the organizers of the annual community art celebration were pleased. That so
many people came out despite the chilly, damp weather is testament of residents’
loyalty to Art Walk, said Sandy Wicks, of Downtown Bowling Green.
While some vendors in Grounds for Thought found business a bit slower than in
previous years, Becky Laabs was elated by the number of people who passed
through her gallery art-a-site on South Main Street. Even better, many made
purchases. She said it was a much needed infusion of sales.
She had several people doing demonstrations, and musicians from Peace Lutheran
entertained early in the day.
"A lot of people came in who hadn’t been in the shop before," she said.
Laabs was hoping this would be a good sign for the coming weeks with graduation,
Mother’s Day and weddings in the offing.
Jessica Gibson, who was working on her T-shirt crafts at art-a-site, said "kids
were coming with their parents" to show off their art displayed at various
locations around town. "Weather didn’t deter anyone."
The community spirit of the event was evident in the winners of the two People’s
choice awards.
For metal worker Tom Roller, of rural Bowling Green, and painter Mitch Raney, of
Bowling Green, these were the first awards their work has received.

Sheri Wells-Jensen, playing the banjo, and
Scott Kelly along with other members of Peace Band entertain at Art-a-Site which
was part of Art Walk.

"If folks on the street like what you’ve done, then you get their vote,"
said Barbara Ruland, the executive director of Downtown Bowling Green.
Roller, a retiree, started making his metal sculptures about five years ago, he said.

They were inspired by the cattails he remembers in the old farm pond on the Carter
Road farm he grew up on.
His work was on display at BG Hats & Apparel, "the best spot in
town," he said.
"I couldn’t believe the wonderful things people said about my work."
Raney, who teaches general writing at Bowling Green State University, also found
viewers’ reactions to his work. Raney, who has been painting for eight years,
creates brightly colored scenes from exotic places he’ll never visit, mixing the
realistic with a heavy dose of fancy. He uses a variety of materials, including
house paint and glitter.
His work was in Serenity Spa, on South Main. He gets his hair cut there, and that led
to an invitation to display his work there.
Ruland said that the scholarship fashion show and luncheon at Sam B’s, was also a
success, both because people had a good time and it raised more than $500.
That money will be divided among three women’s service clubs – The Women’s Club,
Zonta and AAUW – to be used for scholarships.

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