WESTLAKE, Ohio – More than 50 artists gathered their work and took to the grounds of Westlake Elementary School on Saturday, July 31 for the Westlake-Bay Village Rotary’s first-ever art exhibit.
The event was blessed with beautiful summer weather, and hundreds came for a walk along the paths where the artists had set up stands to share their creations. Musical groups such as brass and string ensembles from the Cleveland Institute of Music kept everyone entertained as they roamed.
There were also Rotary members all around “to be of help,” according to Jim Strunk, a member of the group since 1992. Strunk was one of the golf cart drivers for those who needed to come and go to their vehicle. .
He noted that the event was a first for the club and gave credit to the man who organized it.
“Joe Kraft, member of the Westlake School Board, was instrumental in organizing this event. It was his idea, ”Strunk said.
Kraft, president of the event, asked a few questions about the event for the first time and its purpose: “This is a non-profit event for our foundation that helps people who need help. . We fund things like Ames House and Hospice of the Western Reserve, and we have speech competitions and leadership awards. We also offer one-week internships for students to learn leadership.
A photographer from Strongsville, Jim Walters, came to see what it was about.
“They did a good job,” Walters said. “What intrigues me more than anything is photography. It’s a family affair. My son was a photographer for a while, my grandfather was a genius in the darkroom, and my father was a good photographer.
Walters said his own specialty is landscape photography and he saw some good photos in the living room when he entered.
A walk through the artists ‘and vendors’ tents revealed everything from a large number of paintings and photographs to local raw honey, to art made from gourds, jewelry, wall hangings, birdhouses, d sand art and more. Artists came from far, even as far as Chagrin Falls.
At the end of the tents were Donna Reuter and Kevin Meivogel with their “Sandy Candy”. Reuter said the treat was created by jelly bean maker Jelly Belly.
“Sandy Candy is edible art,” she said, “and the hits are reminders of the Pixy Stix of yesteryear.”
The large tubes that contain the sugar have caps and dividers. Kids can fill the tubes with up to 28 flavors of sugar – and parents can track how much sugar kids are consuming, she said.
It was a fun day. It was easy to feel the happiness and relief of so many people just happy to be outside and enjoying the beautiful day – and lots of beautiful art. A recall next year seems to be a sure thing.
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