Annual Art Walk shines again in Columbia - Republic-Times | News

Annual Art Walk shines again in Columbia

By on September 26, 2012 at 11:03 am

From left, 2-year-old twin sisters Georgia and Veronica Curtis of Columbia paint in the kids activity area as part of Saturday’s Art Walk in downtown Columbia. More photos in the “Media Store”. (Corey Saathoff photo)

There was perhaps no better way to spend the first day of autumn than taking in the vast array of art on display during the fourth annual Art on the Bluffs Art Walk in downtown Columbia on Saturday.

“We achieved our vision this year,” remarked event co-founder Carol Fetcho, who is an art teacher at Immaculate Conception School.

It was a vision first dreamed up by Fetcho and fellow ICS teacher Carol Waide in 2009 as Columbia was preparing to celebrate its 150th year as a city.

The first couple of art walks were more spread out, Fetcho explained, with artists set up along Main Street from City Hall north to the Old Distillery Building. Main Street vehicle traffic was kept open during those walks.

This year, the event was held over just a few city blocks near City Hall, but with Main Street closed off to traffic in that area and all of the artists and activities in a more confined space.

“Every year we have made changes in hopes to improve the event,” Art on the Bluffs committee member Deb Roediger said. “We do believe this was our best event yet.”

This year’s Art Walk featured 47 artists from as far away as Tennessee, as well as Columbia, Mo., Columbia, Ill., and in between.

The winner of this year’s “Best in Show” award went to artist Kent Durk of Columbia, Mo., who captures breathtaking panoramic photos and displays them to perfection.

Other artists with displays included local photographers Amanda Vandever and Lanie Pensoneau, as well as mixed media artist Cristin Callis of Columbia.

This was Vandever’s first time displaying at the Art Walk.

“I’m inspired just by seeing things around me and thinking to myself, ‘What can I turn this into, or wouldn’t that look amazing at this angle?'” Vandever states in an artist profile.

Vandever explains that she will sometimes take a picture of one object in many different ways, and then distort the image in what she refers to as painting.

“Around two years ago, I started taking pictures and enjoyed every piece I created.   Now, I’m just continuing to learn as I grow,” she said.

Fellow artist Callis writes in her artist statement that she finds inspiration in many things, but rarely does she start a drawing with a clear single purpose.

“Every drawing is physical evidence of my time spent in the exploration process and how to convey forms through mark making and subtleties on a page,” she states.

In addition to these and other artists, other features of this year’s Art Walk included a Kids Walk area for youngsters to get their face painted or play in a bounce house, a Student Gallery for those in kindergarten all the way up to nursing home residents, and a food court area  in the City Hall parking lot that featured a stage of live music throughout the day.

“I have only heard positive feedback from the patrons concerning the walk,” Roediger said. “It seemed people were able to move about more freely with the street being blocked off.”

Fetcho praised city officials for their support of this event, as well as the large amount of Art on the Bluffs volunteers who make it happen.

“We have an amazing and dedicated team of members, which it takes to put something on like this and keep improving,” Fetcho said.

For more information on Art on the Bluffs, including profiles of many of the artists who displayed this year, visit online at

To purchase photos from this event and other area fall festivals, click here.



Corey Saathoff

Corey is the editor of the Republic-Times. He has worked at the newspaper since 2004, and currently resides in Columbia. He is also the principal singer-songwriter and plays guitar in St. Louis area country-rock band The Trophy Mules.