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Columbia Missourian

PARKADE: Fall Into Art at the Parkade Center

By Bari Bates
October 31, 2011 | 12:04 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Wood tendrils fell in curls onto the floor beneath a woodturning presentation, as deft hands and precise timing helped bring a small, smooth, wooden bowl to life.

The presentation was just one scene from the Fall Into Art show, which took place this past weekend at the Parkade Center. The show, now in its second year, featured works from statewide and local artists, and included art demonstrations and a full schedule of live music, as well as educational booths.

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The show itself was "slow," according to committee members, referring to foot traffic and number of art sales, despite the displays of high-quality work. Artists and vendors were awaiting crowds that never fully showed up, as the show competed with several local Halloween festivities, as well as the MU football game Saturday in Texas. Still, a steady trickle of people wandered the hallways of the Parkade Center, appreciating the work on display.  

“It looks absolutely beautiful. It’s full; it’s filled with art and set up so nicely,” said Melynda Lotven, one of the committee members for the event and a local artist.

Lotven has been painting gourds for more than 20 years and displayed her work at the show in addition to serving on its planning committee. Lotven was positive about the high quality of the show's work,  but she said that they would love to have more customers attend.

Peggy King, a fused glass artist, shared the same sentiments.

“I will say we’ve had mixed results. Some people are doing OK.  Most of us, I think, have people looking but for some reason not buying. Which is a shame because we have some awesome stuff here,” King said.

Despite slow sales as of early Sunday afternoon, artists were happy to be there. And those that made purchases walked away pleased with paintings tucked under their arms and new jewelry fastened on with care.

Bari Precious, a stoneware pottery artist at the show, was optimistic about the show and its future, and said that with any new show, there are tough aspects but believes that timing is of the essence.

Lawrence L’Hote sat in a chair across from his booth, as opposed to behind it, allowing him to survey the scene. L’Hote works with recycled and found materials to make jewelry, sculptures and hats.

“The problem is getting this to people,” he said. “Participants are a lot better than what they’ve been in the past. I’m hesitant about saying I’m disappointed, but Sunday is bound to be a slow day anyway.”

The artists applauded their peers, pointing out different booths and displays to guide potential customers along.

Of the show’s planning and future, Lotven was positive.

“The heart and the will and the desire for it to succeed is all there and strong.”