Weather plays nice for Labor Day events
by Lindsay Field
September 04, 2012 12:39 AM | 2121 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Ray Nelson sits on his ‘Guitcycle,’ a 1980 Yamaha 650 which he rode 60,000 miles from coast to coast in 1982. Nelson, a resident of Peachtree City, is the founder of Guitars Not Guns, a nonprofit that provides a music program for at-risk teens. The ‘Guitcycle’ was one of 18 artcars at the ArtcarPalooza during the 26th annual Art in the Park on Saturday.<br>Staff/Jon-Michael Sullivan
Ray Nelson sits on his ‘Guitcycle,’ a 1980 Yamaha 650 which he rode 60,000 miles from coast to coast in 1982. Nelson, a resident of Peachtree City, is the founder of Guitars Not Guns, a nonprofit that provides a music program for at-risk teens. The ‘Guitcycle’ was one of 18 artcars at the ArtcarPalooza during the 26th annual Art in the Park on Saturday.
Staff/Jon-Michael Sullivan
MARIETTA — With weather on their side for the most part throughout the Labor Day weekend, the 26th annual Art in the Park and third annual Noshfest were quite a success, according to each festival’s organizer.

Art in the Park was held on the Square in downtown Marietta Saturday through Monday, and Noshfest at Temple Kol Emeth ran Sunday and Monday on the corner of Old Canton and Sewell Mills roads in Marietta.

Carolyn Morris, who has been organizing Art in the Park since its inception in 1986, said, “The crowds have been steady.”

Morris said the family affair attracted around 38,000 this year, compared to about 30,000 last year. Last year’s event was shut down early because of severe weather.

This year’s event included paintings, photography, pottery, graphics, sculptures and jewelry from 165 different artists from all over the U.S., the 2nd Annual Chalk It Up competition at the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art on Atlanta Street and the first Georgia ArtcarPalooza.

“With the two new additions of the ArtcarPalooza and 3D chalk art, this weekend was fabulous,” Morris said Monday. “I’m real pleased and grateful that there are so many artists that have returned this year, too.”

One of those artists is Tonya Hedgeman of Woodstock, one of 165 artists from 16 different states.

“Each piece is built by hand. I do all the texture work and make my own tools and then by using individual strokes, I create the texturing effect,” said ceramic artist Hedgeman, who has now participated for four years.

Hedgeman, who is originally from Savannah, has been making the pieces for about nine years and said this year’s show went well.

“It’s comparable to years past,” she said. “It’s a good location for me. I have a little following, so I see a lot of repeat customers.”

Charlie Yowell of Dunlap, Tenn., is another artist who was selected to participate in the show and was one of about 30 who were new to the exhibition.

“I’ve applied to this show a few times and I’ve never gotten in … then I got in this year,” he said. “Marietta is a good area and this could be a good show so I thought I’d try it.”

Yowell’s work can be described as 3D stained glass sculptures that are balanced and will move in the wind or with vibration. He’s been practicing his work for about 12 years, eight full time, and Art in the Park is one of about 25 shows he’ll display his work in this year.

“It’s not as good as I thought it would be,” Yowell said about sales for him, “but it’s my first year and it was real hot over the weekend, so I think that had something to do with it.”

He added that it didn’t discourage him from wanting to take part in it again next year.

For the Chalk It Up portion of Art in the Park, Executive Director Sally Macaulay with the art museum brought in California chalk artists Julie Kirk-Purcell of Los Angeles and Lori Escalera of Sand Diego to create 3D-looking pieces.

These two works of art, one which resembled a three-tiered waterfall similar to the one in the middle of the Square and a second which was the Statue of Liberty stepping out of a picture frame, were on display at the museum throughout the weekend.

“I just think this is what people really want to see when you talk about an arts festival,” Maccaulay said Monday morning.

Between Saturday morning and Monday afternoon, roughly 2,700 people visited the museum to check out the pieces. Visitors even filled up the museum’s donation box during their visits, which Maccaulay said was “nice, because it showed people want to support us.”

The ArtcarPalooza, which featured a car show with one-of-a-kind art cars as well as classic customized hot rod and low-rider vehicles, was the first of its kind in Georgia and helped raise funds for the Wounded Warrior Project.

Another weekend event that had a great turnout was Noshfest, the two-day festival hosted at Temple Kol Emeth.

“It’s been incredible,” said Temple Kol Emeth Brotherhood president Lesley Litt, who started the festival three years ago. “We had even more people than ever.”

Between the two days, Litt said approximately 3,000 visited the event, which the synagogue held to celebrate and introduce Jewish culture to the Cobb community, while collecting perishable items for MUST Ministries.

“We’re still reeling from the fact that we didn’t get rain,” he said Monday after the event. “We even sold out of food.”

About a dozen food vendors sold traditional foods like falafel, hamantaschen and knishes, as well as ice cream and chicken wings, and multiple craft vendors were selling anything from paintings and jewelry to refinished church pews.

Kirk Maxwell of Marietta began his business, “altered,” two years ago and using church pews, he creates custom furniture, trays, candlesticks, bottle holders, business card holders, lamps and vases.

“This is my first year at Noshfest,” he said, adding that he was invited to participate in the show. “It’s been great. I sold a few things.”

The Pope High School graduate, who has a background in painting and finishing, came up with the idea to refinish pews while working on the former chapel at Roswell Street Baptist.

He is now using whatever funds are raised to help pay for his family’s move to Brazil in February. They will be moving there indefinitely to serve as missionaries.
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