If you go
What: Fort Wayne Arts Festival at Jefferson Pointe, a juried outdoor show including more than 30 local and regional fine artists working in wood, glass, clay, fiber, watercolor and other media; musicians will also perform
When: Noon to 5 p.m. today
Where: Jefferson Pointe Shopping Center, 4130 W. Jefferson Blvd.
For more information: Go to www.JeffersonShopping.com and click the arts festival link
Allan Longroy has been working with wood for more than 50 years.
The retired IPFW chemistry professor builds beautiful boxes using various domestic and exotic woods. Most include intricate designs on the hand-crafted lids.
The 81-year-old local man won the judge's choice award at this year's Art in the Park, part of the Three Rivers Festival.
On Saturday, Longroy won some new admirers at the Fort Wayne Arts Festival at Jefferson Pointe.
The juried show, which continues today, includes more than 30 artisans gathered around the outdoor mall's center fountain to display and sell their works.
“Look at the setting. It's very inviting,” Teri Marquart said. “People were here even before we opened.”
Marquart, who organized the show, was pleased with the number of artists participating and hopes to add more in the future. Her ideal would be 50 to 60. She wants to keep the selection varied while maintaining an intimate atmosphere.
The weather also cooperated Saturday with clear skies and temperatures in the 60s.
Some people wandering from one white tent to another were there specifically for the arts festival. Others came to Jefferson Pointe to shop and wandered over to check it out.
Don Schreiber, a retired mechanical engineer from Bluffton, was bowled over by Longroy's woodworking, which ranges in price from $12 to more than $400. Most pieces are $65 to $75.
“I think it's some of the finest that I've seen, and I've seen a lot,” he said.
Schreiber, who has built furniture, hasn't tried smaller pieces, such as jewelry boxes. He peppered Longroy with technical questions about techniques and finishes.
Arielle Baker, 16, was also soaking up inspiration as she visited various tents with her grandmother Nora Sunderland.
“We try to hit all the local art shows,” Sunderland said before turning her attention to her granddaughter, a high school junior who excels at photography, needlework and other crafts. “You name it, she can do it. This is a great way to get inspired and get new ideas.”
Sunderland invested in a piece by local artist Alexandra Hall.
Hall, who paints whimsical characters in acrylics on canvas, displays her work at about 12 shows a year. She recently participated in four art shows in Colorado and has one coming up in Arkansas.
“It gives me a chance to do a bit of a work vacation,” she said of her choice to sell her work in other states.
And how does the Jefferson Pointe event compare?
“It's a great show,” Hall said. “It seems to be really well-trafficked.”
Deb Shenfeld was sitting under another tent selling bright, handmade jewelry, something she's dabbled in for about six years.
“I've done sewing and painting and all different kinds of things,” she said.
Now, it's enameled jewelry. Earrings sell for $40 a pair. Necklace prices go up to $125. Each carries the Goddess Girl Jewelry brand name.
“I think every girl,” Shenfeld said, “deserves to look like a goddess.”