Renaissance in Roanoke giving attendees biggest event ever

Dennis Albertson, of Hamilton, does some “Plein Air” painting at last year’s Renaissance in Roanoke in downtown Roanoke. The event, featuring “Plein Air” competitions, music, entertainment, food and children’s activities, will be held Saturday, Oct. 13.
Dennis Albertson, of Hamilton, does some “Plein Air” painting at last year’s Renaissance in Roanoke in downtown Roanoke. The event, featuring “Plein Air” competitions, music, entertainment, food and children’s activities, will be held Saturday, Oct. 13. TAB file photo

Those who come to the A Renaissance in Roanoke this year will get an extra treat, with the inaugural addition of a juried craft area added to the show, set for Saturday, Oct. 13, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Main Street. The addition makes this year’s event the biggest yet.

Ruth Marsh, who heads up this year’s show, is excited about it, saying adding the craft section will give shoppers a wider price range in which to find art and handcrafted treasures.

“I’m hoping that will bring in a new crowd,” Marsh says. “A lot of people see fine art and think they can’t afford it, so why go. But yet, there’s so much that is affordable ... We feel that in today’s world, I think that’s what a lot of people are looking for as well.”

So far, at least a dozen craft vendors have signed on, offering everything from handmade furniture to baby items. That’s in addition to more than 50 artists in the fine arts show, covering all media including paintings, carvings, basketry, jewelry, pottery and fabric/fiber arts. Visitors are encouraged to vote for their favorite artist.

Also on display will be art from the Roanoke Elementary School third, fourth and fifth grade plein air paint out.

A plein air competition will also be going on as early as 8 a.m., with artists setting up easels around town to begin painting or drawing local scenes in Roanoke.

A children’s area, located in Zent Commons, at the corner of Main and First streets, will feature activities for kids, including creating their own garden stepping stones made with stones, marbles, glass and concrete. The Little River Wetlands Project, an environmental group based in Fort Wayne, will offer the garden stone project, Marsh says.

Adults can make a project, too, with a “make your own silk scarf” booth, for a fee.

“It’s painting. You drop the paint in the water, and you dip your scarf in it, and that’s how you get your color on it,” Marsh explains. “That will be interesting because she’ll be demonstrating.”

Other demonstrations that will be presented include a basket weaver and jeweler.

There will be lots of musical entertainment this year, and a wide variety of it. New is the group Uncle Pecos, based in Roanoke and making their debut public appearance at the show. The band’s style is described as a celebration of North American acoustic music, playing a blend of folk, old-time, bluegrass, a little acoustic rock and some novelty tunes sprinkled in for flavor. Uncle Pecos will perform at 11:45 a.m. and 2:15 p.m.

The day’s entertainment schedule also includes The Huntington Children’s Choir, performing at 10 a.m.; Joe Justice, a perennial Renaissance in Roanoke favorite musician and singer, performing at 10:45 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.; Maria Nava, a hoop dancer who will perform at noon; and the Dumpster Drummers, a three-man “Stomp” style group that recycles non-traditional materials into percussion instruments. They will play at 1:30 p.m.
The farmers market will also be going full-swing that day as well, offering fall harvest fruits and vegetables, seasonal flowers and homemade goodies for sale.

Funds raised from A Renaissance in Roanoke will go to support the Roanoke Beautification Foundation projects, including planting flowers around town and replacing pedestrian bridges at Roanoke Park.

For more information, visit the Art Council website at www.RenaissanceinRoanoke.org.