Rain or shine, Rockford will be the center of a storm of art on Saturday, Sept. 8 along the banks of the lovely Rogue River during the Rockford Area Arts Commission’s (RAAC) annual Art in the Park. The event, in its umpteenth year, has about 70 artists of all ilks planned. The work will be good—the show is juried, which means the RAAC is selective in what artists are allowed to participate. As in past years, some of the artists will be exhibiting their works in progress so viewers can watch them in action, whether they are painting with acrylics or oils, weaving or creating pottery art.
Rockford’s own Lila Harmon is one of the organizers, and said the diversity of the show is one of the draws. She said there are many local artists whose names and work may already be familiar—think Linda Bassford, Noel Skiba, Dana Ziebarth, Lois Carpenter, Shirley Dean—but also artists from all across the state will come for the day.
Mediums include painters of a variety of styles and types, photography, metal art, woodcarving, jewelry, pottery, weaving and more. As always the event is free to attend and is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“It is always a rain or shine event, so we hope for good weather,” said Harmon. She noted that bad weather isn’t always a deal-breaker for those with a booth. Last year the weather was picture perfect, but two years ago the rain started about 9:00 in the morning and let up at about 4:30 p.m. “There were still plenty of people there.”
Live music compliments the event, which centers around Garden Club Park by the dam and the music will be on the stage in the grass. No food vendors are invited because there are so many dining opportunities in downtown Rockford. Harmon said the event is a great opportunity for holiday shopping, and those who don’t find the perfect gift at Art in the Park should take a look at the many shops and stores Rockford offers.
During the event the RAAC picks a few favorites for awards—Best in Show, Best Photography, etc. Although the public can’t vote for their favorites at this art event, they can count on all quality stuff.
“The Arts Commission selects who participates. There is a saying: There are jewelry makers who are artists, and then there are bead stringers,” she laughed.
To find out more about Art in the Park, visit the RAAC website at artsrockford.org. There may still be booths available and potential vendors can inquire online.