The Ottumwa Courier

August 29, 2013

More than just art

By MARK NEWMAN
Courier staff writer

---- — OTTUMWA — It may be tough to decide where you'll start to “Walk on Art Street.”

Walk on Art Street has artists selling their work, of course, but there will also be a stage for entertainment and multiple activity stations for the kids. The event is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday on Third Street just south of Central Park. Only foot traffic will be allowed.

"We're going to have close to 30 artists this year," said Bob Untiedt, executive director of Main Street Ottumwa, the organization that puts on the event. "And there's a lot of diversity."

He said art ranges from handmade jewelry and stained glass to watercolors and oil paintings. In addition to diversity in the materials used to create works of art, the cultural diversity will include works of Native American art.

The festival is held annually. Ottumwans say that in previous years, they've seen pieces that are easily affordable as well as far more intricate pieces.

"Frankly, my inner 12-year-old is excited about all the children's activities," said Untiedt.

Kids' Bingo and sidewalk chalk drawing will compete for attention with face painting and mask making.

Children may actually appreciate the entertainers on the main stage, too, Untiedt said.

"There's going to be a performance by a Fairfield group that does African drumming, and they also teach some drumming," he said.

The scheduled belly dancer may also share some secrets to her art, while the popular band "Hieland Storm" will perform Celtic music throughout the day.

Untiedt said while there will be some artists from other areas, Walk on Art Street is a good opportunity to support hometown talent.

“Most artists are local from Wapello County,” he said

— To see reporter Mark Newman's Twitter feed, go to @couriermark