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Brandon Strong, coordinator of the 43rd annual YWCA Riverside Art Festival looks on as Trent Derreberry sets up garden art.
MyBayCity Photo by Pati LaLonde

Downtown Bay City Hosts43rd annual YWCA Riverside Art Festival

June 12, 2016       Leave a Comment
By: Pati LaLonde

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Dustin Harris "sees" stuff in the round stock steel - stuff like bugs, animals, and anything else that would make for good garden art.

Harris, owner of Colonial Wagon & Wheel, in Lancaster, Ohio, and friend Trent Derreberry, set up their wares on Center Avenue for the 43rd annual YWCA Riverside Art Festival. "I started with a fishing pole and praying mantis," said Harris. "People came to me and asked me to make things. When I bend (the steel), I always see something." Making his third trip to the festival, Harris says this festival attracts a good crowd who love yard art.

Yard art isn't the only attraction to this festival. Coordinator Brandon Strong is expecting thousands of people to walk Center Avenue from Water Street to Madison Avenue from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday visiting the almost 130 booths manned by craftsmen and nonprofits.

Each craftsman in this juried show was chosen for special reasons by Strong and a panel of judges. "I look for uniqueness and kindness," said Strong. "I go to a lot of shows and interview a lot of artists and see how they interact with each other."

Interacting is what the Gamache family of Saginaw is all about. While wife Debi Gamache along with granddaughter Emilee Holiday man a booth filled with signs made from salvaged material, husband David Gamache sells jerky from his own tent. He is the salvager, she is the artist. The couple is setting up for their fifth year.

"It's a great exhibit," said Debi Gamache. "There is a great variety of artists from all over."

Since this is a fundraiser for not only the YW but the non-profits as well, most artists submit an item for a silent auction and non-profits run raffles from their booths. There is more to do than just shop. Teaming up, Studio 23/The Arts Center and the YW are offering those attending the chance to take part in a Community Art Project. Four paintings will be created using water balloons and darts - two to be auctioned off and two raffled. Darts and raffle tickets are $1 each for $10 for 10 darts and two raffle tickets. Studio 23 is also hosting a Paint N Take event. For $10 people are invited to sit down and create a masterpiece to take home.

Those attending will also find clothing, plants and lots of good things to eat and drink.

Dustin Harris "sees" stuff in the round stock steel he used to make his garden art.
Photo by Pati LaLonde

Robin Hoag of Owosso places art made by husband Dave Hoag .
Photo by Pati LaLonde

Dave Hoag sees something, makes a mold, turning out concrete art for the garden.
Photo by Pati LaLonde

Emilee Holiday and Debi Gamache set up art made from salvaged material in their booth.
Photo by Pati LaLonde

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Pati LaLonde

Pati is a freelance writer with experience in all things pertaining to Bay County, Michigan.

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