GRIFFITH | Artistic creativity filled Central Park Saturday as the 39th edition of A Park Full of Art opened with 72 artisans displaying their original works.
Set amid the park’s tall trees, the open air gallery of booths brought out several thousand people of all ages to browse and buy on the first day of the two-day juried show. A Park Full of Art continues from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
The Keith family from Whiting said they make going to A Park Full of Art an annual event.
“It’s the best,” said Helen Keith as she and three other family members loaded a mini-van with purchases.
“My granddaughter is at Butler University. I found her a Butler clock. Isn’t it perfect?” she said. “We come every year and I let my family pick out their own Christmas presents.”
One of those presents is a bracelet made of two silver-plated forks destined for the wrist of Keith’s daughter-in-law Sue Keith.
“We’re having a girls’ day,” said Marcia Keith, Helen’s daughter, who wore a necklace with a brilliant blue glass pendant featuring a tree of life motif created by Lori Hutchins of Pleasant Lake, Ind.
A self-taught artist, Hutchins stared her business “Just if I’d” 16 years ago and has exhibited at A Park Full of Art for several years.
“I don’t use any stencils. Everything is drawn freehand and I work in dichronic (glass that contains multiple micro-layers of metals),” said Hutchins as she welcomed longtime and new customers.
Recycled glass is the favorite medium for Cindra Bastress’ artistry. Among the items the Fort Wayne artist displayed were glass wind chimes that created music all their own in Saturday’s breezes.
“This is my favorite station so far,” said new Griffith resident Tina Fink about Bastress’ Go Green Glass Gifts.
“This is so unique, really cool. I love this stuff,” said Fink as her future mother-in-law selected a wind chime made of old Coke bottles. “I don’t know how she comes up with this.”
Ribbons were awarded to exhibitors at the start of the event.
Woodworker Gale Bigham of New Paris, Ohio, received a first-place blue ribbon for his hollow wood creation that joins to two maple bowls and features a meteor-like image that ends in an opening on the top portion.
“Over time, you find flaws in the wood. This was one. When the lathe stops, you see the pattern,” said Bigham who began working with wood from downed trees in 1998 and is a member of The American Association of Woodturners.
“He always says he’s the first one to see what God put in the wood,” said Bigham’s wife of 55 years, Nancy, who accompanies him to every show. “One of the bowls of a set he was making had a cross in the middle of it that was in the wood. The person who bought it was thrilled.”