The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

September 1, 2013

Artists new and old enliven downtown

OTTUMWA — Saturday was not the kind of weather organizers hope for when planning an outdoor street fair. So it's a measure of success that the annual Walk on Art Street managed to draw a solid crowd despite coming at the end of the summer's most intense heat wave.

A little heat wasn't going to keep Ernie and Claudia Koch away, though.

“I think this is our third or fourth year,” said Ernie. “The people are friendly, it's well run.”

The Kochs' form of art isn't painting or sketching. Ernie turns wood into functional bowls and decorations. He favors stains that bring out the wood's natural grain over attempts to change its color.

The pieces started as stress relief in about 2001, then picked up steam after retirement.

“Its been a learning experience,” he said.

Mark McWhorter's stall was down just a couple dozen feet. Where the Kochs have just over a decade of experience, McWhorter has closer to 30 years under his belt.

McWhorter is an instructor at Indian Hills Community College and put on his first ceramics shows “in the early 80s.” He missed last year's walk and was happy to be back.

McWhorter agrees with the Kochs on one very important point. The environment and the people make the day.

“Even if I didn't sell anything, I would still do it,” he said.

The backgrounds of the artists are as varied as their creations. Natalia Butler had a steady stream of customers at her stall full of hand-knit items. It's not hard to believe her story is unique.

Butler was trained as a scientist in a family of scientists, with a doctorate in analytical chemistry from Kiev State University. She points visitors to her website, which details a career that included 15 years working to solve problems stemming from the Chernobyl disaster.

Text Only
Local News
  • No Headline Provided Today ... A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 3 p.m. Mostly sunny, with a high near 94. Heat index values as high as 107. Breezy. Tonight ... A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 1 a.m. Mostly cloudy, with a low

    July 22, 2014

  • Bill OK'd for data recovery OTTUMWA — Almost a month ago, the city’s Engineering Department’s server failed. After receiving and installing the necessary parts, attempts to restart the server failed, resulting in a drive being shipped to Data Recovery Services in St. Louis in h

    July 21, 2014

  • Man killed in Wapello County BLOOMFIELD — A man was discovered dead Monday of a gunshot wound in rural Wapello County. However, no further danger related to the shooting is expected. Authorities aren't giving full details of the incident, but a press release said that at 1:21 a.

    July 21, 2014

  • Forensic scientist: Residue doesn't determine who fired gun DAVENPORT — A forensic scientist who testified today in the trial of a Wapello County man accused of murdering his wife said that gun residue should be collected if possible. Seth Techel, 23, is on trial in Scott County, Davenport. He faces charges o

    July 21, 2014

  • Welding academy at Cardinal becomes reality ELDON — Many high school seniors find themselves making the decision to pursue college coursework or enter the work force upon graduation. A new program at Cardinal High School (CHS) eliminates this decision by offering courses that will allow studen

    July 21, 2014

  • Water requires extra caution OTTUMWA — Two area drowning deaths in two weeks have authorities focused on the topic of water safety. The Ottumwa Fire Department's Master Firefighter Bill Keith has trained with watercraft and performed multiple river rescues. This week, he said, h

    July 16, 2014

  • Plea settles kidnapping case OTTUMWA — An Ottumwa man originally charged with kidnapping will not serve prison time after a plea bargain to a lesser charge. Adem Anota received a sentence of one year in jail with credit for time served and the balance suspended after pleading gu

    July 16, 2014

  • 0722 stick horse color photo -L -T -M 4-H Expo encourages creatitivy OTTUMWA — Typically during the 4-H Expo, horses are kept at the horse arena in Ottumwa Park, but Saturday kids galloped around Bridge View Center on homemade stick horses. Children at the expo spent Saturday morning creating their own cowboy vest and

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gunshot victim found dead BLOOMFIELD — A man was found dead of a gunshot wound in rural Wapello County. However, no further danger related to the shooting is expected. Though authorities aren't giving full details of the incident, a press release said at 1:21 a.m. Monday the

    July 21, 2014

  • NEST program educates parents OTTUMWA — With any new job, you typically go through a training period that prepares you for the future. The Wapello County Iowa State Extension Office is offering both first-time and experienced parents helpful training through its NEST program. NES

    July 21, 2014

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook