The popular weekend art shows finally were back in action on Friday and Saturday at Lakeside Chautauqua, with a full slate of vendors eager to reconnect with customers.
Arts shows have long been popular around Ottawa County, but crowd restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic have shuttered most of them this spring and summer. With ample social distancing, strict rules on facial coverings for vendors and visitors and spreading the show with 12 feet between exhibits, the Lakeside Art & Craft Show had the green light to put on this summer favorite.
“This is one of my favorite shows, and the only show we’ve been able to attend this year,” said Jim Maloney of Tufa Rock Garden Art in Sandusky. “It’s the perfect show for our garden art, and many people are regulars, buying a new piece every year.”
Maloney gathers large pieces of Tufa Rock from a local quarry. The rock is formed by mineral deposits from freshwater springs heavily saturated with calcium corbonate, lime and other minerals. Maloney drills silver dollar-sized holes in the rocks and plants attractive vegetation, such as hen and chicks and Stonecrop Sedum, in the holes.
The plant roots can penetrate the Tufa Rock, making for generally maintenance-free yard sculptures that are a living work of art. Water once a week during the summer, said Maloney. The plants can survive the winter weather when left outside.
Kate and Ray Ramsdell brought their Windfall Woodworks exhibit from Fayette, Ohio — it was their first show of the year, as well — and there was a lot of interest in their custom-painted wooden bowls and other wooden creations.
“The turnout for the Lakeside show has been outstanding, and we’re happy to see so many mask-wearing visitors,” said Kate Ramsdell.