The Memorial Art Gallery opened its doors yet again this weekend for the iconic Clothesline Arts Festival. This event has been an annual tradition at the Centennial Sculpture Park right outside the MAG for the last 62 years.
Initially organized with less than 100 artists showcasing their work on clothes lines and fences (thus the name), this splendid festival has grown to attract over 500 diverse artists from across the nation.
The park was splattered with sun-kissed white tents where artists proudly displayed their works. Each tent was a story within itself — a portrayal of skill, creativity, and years of experience.
Piché Design, a unique custom creation art store owned by Chuck Peashy, had one of the most intriguing tents: an eye-catching, quaint old setting with lamps shaped like musical instruments.
“People come to me with instruments that belonged to their long-gone loved ones, and I make beautiful heirlooms out of those for them. It is, indeed, rewarding,” said Peashy, the artist behind this initiative.
“Why knot doodle?” read the sign in one of the stalls with the most chic, millennial vibes in the whole festival — Jes Designz. A rendition of modern, classy, almost mandala-like doodles with Swedish weaving techniques, this tent was creativity redefined.
Jill Schiller, the artist, started doodling when she was very young (as we all do) and never stopped. Her hobby gave way to a string of super cool contemporary designs that she now portrays with Swedish weaving on scarves, carpets, bags, and T-shirts. Schiller believes that the childhood pastime of doodling should never stop, as it is very evidently a great method of expressing ingenuity and emotion, hence her motto.
Visitors also experienced all seven continents in one tent: Tatarzyn Photography. From penguins lined up on an Antarctic coastline to swans nuzzling, Ted Tatarzyn has traveled all around the world to capture these moments with a lens.
“This is actually my second career,” said Tatarzyn, who interestingly worked at Kodak for many years before its shutdown. He then started touring around the world for the pictures in 2007.
George Banagis’ tent, which showcased watercolor and pen and ink pieces, had a variety of options. His intricate pen and ink illustrations were available in the original full-size versions, which were made after weeks of labor, and also small, affordable postcards, notepads, and other memorabilia. Visitors loved this inexpensive form of art and stormed to buy their own little illustrations.
Clothesline had many other stories to tell — from medically inspired wood burning (Unstrung Studios) to a shop that converts attic trash to artwork (Historic Houseparts). Strolling across the little artistic showcases is a learning experience in itself that every student should take advantage of. This festival is truly one of the best ones Rochester has to offer.