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Elk Creek Art Festival boasts variety, draws crowds
A small blanket and a bird house went home with Carolyn Percy to Durham on Saturday.
"A friend of mine in Willows told me about this," Percy said of the third annual Elk Creek Art Festival held Saturday and Sunday at the library. "I really didn't intend to buy anything, but the blanket will go to my daughter for her new baby and (the bird house) is perfect for my 'overgrown' garden."
The two-day festival attracted a number of people from around the valley, and Lauren Carly said despite the 100-degree weather, she was very pleased with the turnout.
"It went pretty well. We had about twice as many artists than we had last year ... and talking to the vendors, they were pleased with how they did," said Carly, president of the Elk Creek Citizens Library Committee, which hosts the event.
"A lot of them said they were going to tell their friends, so it should grow."
She said the library does not charge the artists anything to put out their displays. It is more of a "thank you to the community for supporting the library."
It also revives a past tradition of art shows in the community.
Well-known Willows artist Vic Kronberg had his watercolor paintings on display, and said the event was very nicely.
"It's been pretty good considering it's off the beaten path," said Kronberg, who taught at Willows High for 34 years.
He also was selling raffle tickets for the Lions Club, and was doing well with that, too.
Kronberg said he works in watercolors because "it is the only (medium) I feel comfortable in."
It was the first time Sarah W. Hoggart of Fruto had brought her artwork to the festival — in this case her photography.
"I was always interested in it. My mom was always taking photos and documenting things, and then I took a class in high school," Hoggart said.
She said she will return next year with some of her other art, mostly acrylics and sketches.
There was also folkart pieces, quilts and other stitch work at the event, and Sunshine Rae Kelly's blast of colorful pieces made the small festival unusually rare in its variety.
Unlike Kronberg, who took up art later in life, Kelly said she was dabbling in images almost before she could walk.
But as she grew older, and eventually went off to Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia, she realized art is not always what is in front of your eyes, and the direction of her art changed dramatically.
"Art is not always what you see," said Kelly, who moved from Red Bluff to Elk Creek seven years ago, and has a 19-month-old son who also likes to dabble. "It is sometimes what you feel."
Fred Welcome, president of the Colusa County Arts Council, said he was surprised what he found at the festival.
"The nice thing about that show is it had a lot of variety, a lot of media, and for a small community is was very diverse," said Welcome. "It was a pleasant surprise."
But it was not artwork as much as artists that Welcome and other members of the Art Council were shopping for at the event.
"I was basically shopping for an art show that we have in the spring at the Williams museum and beause it was on that side of the valley, those artists are what I was shopping for," Welcome said.
Candy Sherman of Paradise bought one piece to go with one she bought last year.
"They are different photographers, but I could swear they were taken at the same time and place," Sherman said.
But as it turned out, one was taken off the coast in Northern California, she said, and the one she bought last year was taken in Mexico.
"I guess it is true: It's a small world."