LowellArts! serves up another successful festival at Fallasburg Park

By Mike Taylor • Last Updated 10:38 am on Monday, September 17, 2012

Fabric Artist Ruth Petersen Jelema shows off a few of her creations at Fallasburg Fall Festival for the Arts. — Daily News/Mike Taylor

LOWELL — True to its billing, this year’s Fallasburg Fall Festival for the Arts truly did offer something for everyone.

Sponsored by LowellArts!, the festival entered its 44th year Saturday and Sunday with a juried show featuring 100 artists and craftspersons from across the country. Nestled in the inviting area surrounding Fallasburg Park’s main pavilion, the event also offered live music, great food and seasonal children’s activities.

Many of the artists displaying their wares also demonstrated throughout the weekend the ways in which their particular creations are made.

Doug Shassberger demonstrates one of the techniques he employs in creating hand-crafted wooden sculptures. — Daily News/Mike Taylor

West Michigan native Ruth Petersen Jellema, whose booth featured layered fabric sculptures, said she was pleased with the turnout Saturday afternoon. Jellema and her husband, David, travel to shows across the country throughout the year.

“My favorite shows are the ones down in Florida,” Jellema said. “But this is very nice. I’ve done this show before, but not in several years. It’s good to be back in the area and so close to home.”

Within the pavilion, several area artisans presented demonstrations in traditional country arts, such as weaving, quilting, woodworking and leather craft.

Glass blowing and origami demonstrations also were held throughout the weekend.

Belmont resident Betty Carpenter spent much of the day Saturday working on a home-made quilt and explaining to those who walked past the different stages that go into the completed product.

Other artisans worked spinning wheels and hand-operated looms, turning raw cotton into beautiful works of art.

Marie Miller, who was visiting the festival from Big Rapids, said she comes to the festival each fall, rain or shine.

“I really like this one,” Miller said. “I go to a lot of area arts and crafts show, but this is always one of the best.”

Virtually every major type of art was represented at this year’s show, including sculpture, painting, photography and more.

The children’s craft area, always a favorite of young families, was teeming with various activities this year, thanks in large part to several Lowell area preschools, which organized numerous events for the younger crowd.

Betty Carpenter adds another section to a quilt she created during this year’s arts festival in Lowell. — Daily News/Mike Taylor

As in past years, organizers raffled off several different works of art, including the annual Fallasburg Festival of the Arts quilt, this year titled “Amazon Star” by artist Dawn Ysseldyke.

Nine area bands provided live music throughout the weekend, most of the roots, bluegrass and folk variety in keeping with the Americana theme of the festival.

Near perfect weather led to crowds even larger than usual, which created some delays for those waiting for admission to the parking area, but this was a minor inconvenience for most.

Various area businesses and service organizations contributed time, money and other resources to help make this year’s festival one of the best in recent memory.

More information about this year’s festival, as well as plans (as they become available) for next year’s event are online at www.lowellartsmi.org.

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