BY BRIAN RIGGS
Fort Madison Area Arts Director
FORT MADISON – Fort Madison Area Arts Association will conduct another episode of Art-in-Central Park with some modifications this year due to Covid-19.
“FMAAA Board Members were concerned with the number of cases in early September. We met with LCHD staff in the middle of the month and then the Board voted to go ahead with our plans for the 27th after a decrease in active cases in Lee County,” reports FMAAA director Brian Riggs.
“We have eliminated the popular Kid’s Fun ArtZone this year due to the crowding concerns. The traditional BBQ picnic meal is out and we are spacing the visual artists much further apart to utilize all the space in Central Park. The open environment creates a safer event environment and most folks take their tour of the cultural options at differing times. Of course FMAAA recommends mask wearing in public.”
Nearly 20 visual artists are on tap for the event in mediums of painting, stained glass, copper art, pastel, garden sculpture, photography, poetry, pen&ink, wooden furniture, and wood lathe work with several new first-time artists coming to town.
Artist vendor maps will be available at the park.
Three purchase awards will be awarded to artists with $250 by Climax Molybdenum, $200 by FMAAA, and $150 by Kozlowski Law Group. Three booth awards will be distributed as well. 1st Place will win a stay at Kingsley Inn with River Rocks extras. 2ndPlace wins specialty mum from Matt’s Greenhouse and free slot for 2021 Art-in-Central. 3rd Place takes a specialty mum as well.
Bill Hall will be conducting a painting class, housing a double-booth with his wares. Coal-Haus Pizza will be the food vendor with breakfast starting at 9 a.m. with breakfast pizza and biscuits and gravy. They will switch over for lunch joined by long-term participant Lost Duck Brewery with their beer garden by the shelter house.
Musicians begin in the gazebo at noon with PowerChord, sponsored by Jim Baier INC. PowerChord is a rock band out of Southeast, Iowa, with members from Ft. Madison and Burlington.
Their members range in age from 11-14. Current members are: Oliver Santiago (guitars and vocals), Ella Wright (bass and vocals), Jonah Santiago (vocals and keyboards), and Lucas Carr (drums). PowerChord plays a variety of music that is enjoyable for all. They have played venues in Burlington, Keokuk, and Ft. Madison.
Headlining band this year is Jera and the Absoluts from Galesburg, Illinois. They are one of Central Illinois premier party bands specializing in classic rock, blues, and reggae. They happen to have Nick Knedler from Burlington as their lead guitarist. Nick also teaches guitar lessons at FMAAA, which we hope to bring back into action this October. He will be taking new students! MidWestOne Bank is the sponsor for the exhibition.
Taking the stage at the 3 p.m. slot is Harmony Bible Church Worship Band, sponsored by Dana Bushong Jewelers. This will be the first time for a Christian Rock genre at Central Park. Band leader Jeremiah Landon explains, “Harmony Bible Church Worship Band is a ministry of Harmony Bible Church. The mission of Harmony is to bring glory to God by being disciples of Jesus Christ.