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The Journal Gazette

  • Rachel Von Stroup | The Journal Gazette Kat Morris with Unique by Design does an acrylic painting at her booth Saturday during Art in the Park at Freimann Square. The two-day juried fine-art show continues from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today.

  • Matthew LeBlanc | The Journal Gazette Ike and Gracelynn Tamrak of St. Louis explain how their clay flowers are created. They showed their faux plants Saturday at Art in the Park in Freimann Square.

  • Rachel Von Stroup | The Journal Gazette Artist Linda Schwartz, right, of L.A. Mixed Media speaks with customer Tanya Glover at her booth during Art in the Park in Freimann Square on Saturday July 13, 2019. The two day juried fine art show continues today, Sunday from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

  • Rachel Von Stroup | The Journal Gazette Families enjoy cooling down by the fountain during Art in the Park in Freimann Square on Saturday July 13, 2019. The two day juried fine art show continues today, Sunday from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

  • Rachel Von Stroup | The Journal Gazette Steve and Nancy Stopher take a look at prints in the Doug Markusic Photography booth during Art in the Park in Freimann Square on Saturday July 13, 2019. The two day juried fine art show continues today, Sunday from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Sunday, July 14, 2019 1:00 am

Art in the Park has national reach

MATTHEW LEBLANC | The Journal Gazette

J.D. River certainly has a name befitting the Three Rivers Festival, but that wasn't why he was at Freimann Square on Saturday. 

The 31-year-old mixed-media artist from St. Petersburg, Florida, instead was showing his work at Art in the Park, which is part of the festival. His most recent exhibit was in Chicago, and he'll soon be off to Ann Arbor, Michigan, for a showing. 

“This is part of a nine-show tour,” River said. “I'll (sometimes) schedule a show that looks pretty cool, and this is one of those.”

More than 100 artists and exhibitors crowded the square with paintings, pottery, jewelry, crafts and other works. Thousands toured tents erected to provide space for the wares to be shown during the juried art show. 

Art in the Park continues from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today.

River's tent was tucked away in a shady area, where visitors saw the brightly colored acrylics he calls a mix of expressionism and impressionism. 

“He lets the artwork lead him instead of driving the process from forced methods and plans,” his website states. 

On a grassy hill nearby, Randy and Marlena Pressler of Fort Wayne sat in a area out of the sun after taking in some of the art around them. Each said they like the event because there are many things to see and do. 

And Marlena Pressler said she would likely leave with something to remember it by.

“We plan on picking up something,” she said. “Probably a painting.”

Ike and Gracelynn Tamrak of St. Louis made their first appearance at Art in the Park to show their clay flowers – intricate, delicate realistic-looking faux flowers crafted from custom colors using a special clay imported from Japan. 

The clay creations are so realistic, Ike Tamrak said he sometimes has to shoo bees or other insects away from the art.

“We saw the application for the art show, and we said it looks interesting,” he said. “Why not?”

The flowers can take days to make because each feature – leaves, stems, petals – must be made by hand and left to dry. But they will last longer than real bouquets.

“I'm not the enemy of FTD,” Ike Tamrak said, laughing.

mleblanc@jg.net