News Column

Art pumping in Rochester neighborhood

May 15, 2014

By Derek Sullivan, Post-Bulletin, Rochester, Minn.

May 15--Art on Ave keeps getting bigger and bigger.

The Slatterly Park Neighborhood festival, in southeast Rochester, takes place from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday between 10th and 11th streets on Fourth Avenue. Organizers describe the one-day event as a neighborhood initiative to promote the arts, encourage walkability and revitalize the neighborhood.

The event features painters, glass-blowers, metal workers, jewelry makers and many other types of artists. In addition, there will be a perennial plant sale and boulevard garden demonstrations, including the installation of a permanent boulevard sculpture created by local artist Paul Cassidy.

Rachel Hammer, an Art on the Ave committee member, lives on the block of this year's event. She also participated in last year's festival and believes Art on the Ave, which started five years ago, has been gaining momentum.

"We have so many people who want to get involved," Hammer said. "In my opinion, the southeastern part of Rochester is becoming the Bohemian corner of town. It just seems like there are so many artists that live here."

About 40 vendors will display, discuss and sell their artwork. Organizers stay away from mass-produced artists in favor of small-scale locals. There also will be food and drink vendors, including food from People's Food Co-op, and wine and beer from Sontes. Providing music for the festival will be bands Good Morning Bedlam, Voices That Lied, Take Two and Friends, and 1422, as well as singers Jeremy Jewell and Naomi Thrune. Also performing are Words Players actors and belly dancers with Crystal Phoenix.

The event started out as Bloom Day, a springtime plant sale. A couple years later, local architect Wayne Flock, president of the Slatterly Park Neighborhood-Historic Southeast Neighborhood Association, decided to add vendors. The festival moves each year to a different block. This year's event is near the home of host Janelle Wozniak, 1025 Fourth Ave. S.E.

As host, Wozniak picks the festival theme and displays a specially commissioned sculpture in her front yard. Wozniak selected "compassion" as this year's theme because she is a nurse on a cardiac rehabilitation floor at Mayo Clinic.

Cassidy's sculpture will be displayed in Wozniak's yard throughout the event. Cassidy's work is amazing, Hammer says.

"He's just fantastic. He's a local artist, and he has giant dragons and fish that he has made out of different metals," Hammer said. "We look to commission a sculpture every year, and we are excited that he's creating this year's."

Jason Pearson, of Rochester Art Center, and his group of high school arts students, called "Tastes Like Paint," have created shirts with several designs for the event.


If you go

What: Art on the Ave

When: 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday

Where: On Fourth Avenue Southeast, between 10th and 11th streets, in the Slatterly Park Neighborhood



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Source: Post-Bulletin (Rochester, MN)

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