Roanoke to host its second annual Renaissance

Linn Bartling demonstrates the pottery wheel during last year’s Renaissance in Roanoke event. The arts festival will be held this year on Saturday, Oct. 10, in downtown Roanoke.
Linn Bartling demonstrates the pottery wheel during last year’s Renaissance in Roanoke event. The arts festival will be held this year on Saturday, Oct. 10, in downtown Roanoke. Photo provided.

The Roanoke Chamber of Commerce will host the second annual "A Renaissance in Roanoke: Taste the Flavor of Fine Arts" festival on Saturday, Oct. 10, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in downtown Roanoke.

The event will feature various art exhibits and events, as well as food from local vendors.

"We're trying to make sure it's as special as possible," says Alice Eshelman, a member of the fair's steering committee and the proprietor of the Joseph Decuis restaurant in Roanoke.

One of the main events is the "Plein Air Paint-Out" art competition, which will be going on throughout the day from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

During this contest, artists will receive a canvas in the morning and have the day to paint a landscape somewhere in Roanoke ("en plein air" is French for "in the open air" or "in the open").

At the end of the allotted time, artists return their completed work for judging, which will take place at 4 p.m. The works will then be on display for the public from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors are invited to watch the artists paint if they choose to do so.

In addition to the plein air contest, Roanoke Elementary School will display works from its art competition among third, fourth and fifth graders at the school. Works will be judged by Jim Sparrow, director of Arts United in Fort Wayne.

A college art exhibition will also take place. Pieces created by Huntington University, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, Manchester College and University of Saint Francis students will all be on display. First, second, third and People's Choice awards will be given out.

Several live art demonstrations will also take place. Linn Bartling will be using her pot-tery wheel and Larry Wiedman will feature woodcarving, among others. Numerous artisan booths will also be located on Main Street.

Throughout the day, a farmers' market featuring fall produce will call Roanoke home, and Joseph Decuis will have a food vendor booth with Kobe burgers, barbecue Kobe sandwiches, gumbo, soup and baguettes. Local restaurants will also be open to serve visitors.

The University of Saint Francis Jazz Ensemble will perform live music throughout the day, and there will be art activities for children.

"A Renaissance in Roanoke" is sponsored by Huntington University, Joseph Decuis, Deco Illusions, University of Saint Francis, Crestwood Village Shop, Dick Blick and Susan Federspiel.

The festival "reflects Roanoke and Roanoke's renaissance," Eshelman says.

For more information, contact Linn Bartling at 672-2837 or LTS3@aol.com, or visit www.discoverroanoke.org.