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Friday, 24 July 2015 14:00

Tallman Arts Festival 2015: Finding inspiration in non-traditional mediums

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Diane Adams at work in her Rockton studio. Her work will be on display Aug. 2, 2015 at the Tallman Arts Festival in Janesville. Diane Adams at work in her Rockton studio. Her work will be on display Aug. 2, 2015 at the Tallman Arts Festival in Janesville. Terry Mayer/staff

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 2, 2015
Where: Rock County Historical Society, 426 N. Jackson St.
Info: RCHS.us/Tallmanart

JANESVILLE -- The Tallman Arts Festival will feature hundreds of artists displaying different types of artwork.

 "There will be a lot of variety," Meghan Walker, marketing and outreach coordinator for the Rock County Historical Society, said. "We will have everything from fine art to fine crafts to recycled materials,  a whole variety."

Besides the artwork, the festival will feature a silent auction, wine and cheese tasting, ice cream social, children’s craft projects and food and beverages. The festival also will include live music from Mike Boyd, Steve Doeil Band and the GoDeans.

"There’s something for everybody here," Walker said. "The parents can come and bring their whole family and listen to the live music and browse some art, and the kids can do the kids’ activities."

A new feature that has been added to this year’s festival is the Art with Heart booth, in which people can purchase artwork created by students with the proceeds being donated to Project 16:49, a program that assists homeless youths in Rock County.

The Tallman Arts Festival commemorative poster will be available for purchase. The designer of the poster, Jessica Chavez, a student at McNeel Intermediate School in Beloit, will sign copies from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

"They’re a limited edition and they’re meant to be seen as a collector’s item," Walker said. "So every year, we will do (the commemorative design poster contest) and (the design) will change every year. People can buy them year in and year out."

This is the first year the historical society has conducted a commemorative poster contest for the festival. Walker said people from throughout the area submitted a design for the contest.

Walker said the art festival attracts about 2,500 people each year.

"We get people from Rock County, but we also get them from other areas," Walker said. "In the past, we’ve gotten people from throughout the Midwest. It has a reach to it, for sure. The campus gets visited by a lot of people."

"The proceeds are used to help pay for our operations, any kind of construction we may have to do or any renovations we may need," Walker said. "Because we’re a nonprofit, it goes to the pooling of money that helps us keep our doors open."

Copper comes to life for Rockton artist

After working in education for 34 years, Diane Adams now spends a lot of her time working on her favorite art form.

Adams works on her craft out of her Rockton home, as part of a small venture she calls Designs by Diane. Adams will feature several of her pieces during the 58th annual Tallman Arts Festival, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 2, at the Rock County Historical Society campus, 426 N. Jackson St. in Janesville.

"(Copper tooling) is flat, but it has a 3-D effect to it," Adams said. "I usually add a frame or painting to it, or beads. I’m always coming up with something new."

Adams has been working on copper tooling pieces since 2000. She became interested in the art form while attending an art show in Rockford. After selling some of her work, Adams decided to make copper tooling a regular hobby.

"I attended an art show in Rockford and someone had done some (copper tooling), and I thought, ‘I have the tools to do this,’" Adams said. "I participated in an art show at the Hedberg Public Library, and some of my pieces sold and I thought, ‘I should keep doing this.’ I did a show in Rockton for five or six years, and one year I won best of show. It’s pretty much just a hobby. I’m not trying to get rich off of it. It’s just a nice way to do art."

This will be the third year in a row that Adams has participated in the art show, after taking a 25-year hiatus.

"I did the show 25 years ago with a different media. I stopped doing it when I got into teaching, but now I’m back," Adams said. "I’ve received a good response the past couple of years. I’m hoping for another good year."

Adams said the amount of time it takes to complete a project depends on the size of the piece.

"The tooling doesn’t take a lot of time," Adams said. "The painting and framing takes a longer amount of time."

Adams taught art in the Janesville School District for about 30 years, primarily at Marshall Middle School.

"I taught all over the place. When I started, they moved around all the elementary school art teachers," Adams said. "I ended up teaching Spanish at Marshall and then I taught art at Marshall, and that’s what I did for about 25 years."

Lake Geneva area designer creates art in cast stone

Tom Moran of Genoa City will bring his cast stone pieces to the festival. Moran creates cast flagstones, slate, cobblestones and stepping stones for gardens, patios and walkways.

"I design usable stepping stones," Moran said. "I have designs of frogs on lily pads. I have ornate butterflies. I also create cast slates for patios."

This will be fourth year that Moran has attended the festival. He said participating in the show gives him an opportunity to display his products.

"There seems to be a good garden community there, because I sell a lot of my stones," Moran said.

Moran became interested in cast stone art about six years ago after he wanted to build a patio for his home. He now operates his own patio-design business, StoneCrete, in Genoa City.

"I realized it was a great business concept. I came up with the stepping stone line out of it," Moran said. "It took off from there. I went from doing it in my home to having to move into a bigger space. It was something that I needed to do at the time that turned into a business."

Moran said he enjoys operating the business and interacting with his clients.

"I love the creativity of the work. People seem to like my work," Moran said. "I have people coming back to me every year. Since I work for myself, I don’t have a high level of stress. It’s a down home, creative business. I never get bored. It’s diverse on what I can create with concrete, and I’m never clean. There’s no end to the possibilities."

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