DANSVILLE — The Dansville Dogwood Festival is a huge success for the entire creative community.
On May 19 people from all over the region came and saw what the Dansville Dogwood Festival has to offer. The 38th Annual Bazaar at Church Park had something for everyone this year.
Ian Flowers of Sprart Creations has been doing Spray Paint Art for about four years now. Flowers taught himself how to do this kind of artwork over a long winter.
“I just look at the canvas and paint whatever the cans tell me to paint,” he said. “I started out doing the ‘Avengers’ characters.”
Flowers favorite thing to create is the forest and water scenes.
“I love to put as much movement into my work as possible,” he said. “It really brings the picture to life. I started out on paper, but now I work on mirrors, jars, stones, records, and anything else recyclable.”
“I always try to recycle as much as possible,” Flowers continued. “I really enjoy doing this kind of work. I get people wanting me to make custom work for them.”
Flowers has made friends over the years at festivals like this one. He said that it is always nice to network with other artists.
Giovanna Messina of Giovanna’s Unique Jewelry said this was her first time at the festival.
“I really like that this festival provides us with more opportunities to show our work,” she said. “There are not so many people doing the same thing.”
“I do what I love the best, and this kind of work settles me down,” Messina continued. “I am allergic to a lot of things, so it was always hard for me to buy jewelry. It would always irritate my skin or give me a rash.”
Messina’s work offers others like herself a chance to enjoy the beauty of jewelry as well.
“We want to be able to wear jewelry too. Mine doesn’t irritate the skin,” she said. “I love to relax by doing the embroidery.”
Messina likes to do all of the work herself, and not take custom orders. If she takes requests she feels like it stops being her own creativity.
“It stops being my creativity, and it becomes theirs,” she said. “I found out it is very hard to take customized orders.”
Messina is very amazed by the amount of creative people that come to the festival.
Marci Lear of From The Heart said she enjoyed the festival so much last year she wanted to do it again.
“I have many people wanting me to make things for them,” she said. “My mother and grandmother taught me how to crochet about 20 years ago. I got so good at it that I left my job a couple of years ago, and opened a shop out of my home.”
Lear enjoys finding natural things at her home to turn into beautiful art. She has grape vines artwork, wooden artwork, towels, dish cloths, and much more.
“I like to make art out of things I recycle,” she said. “The towels and wooden letters are a favorite with my customers. I started making the wooden letters, because I could never find my name spelled right. People with unique names love buying them, and making their own art.”
Lear loves to be challenged when customers ask her to make something new.
Stacey Sitts of Stacey’s Dreams has always enjoyed making dreamcatchers.
“I started out doing it for friends and family about 20 years ago, and picked it up again last year,” she said. “I feel they were more popular 20 years ago.”
Sitts mentioned that when you visit the Seneca Reservation you will notice all of their dreamcatchers are manufactured now.
“There are some older female Native Americans that will make them, and sell them sometimes in the summer,” she said. “They are mostly manufactured on the (Seneca) Reservation now.”
Bobbie Hagen of Bobbie’s Brush Art has been doing this kind of work from her studio about two years now.
“I have a little studio in back of my house, and I share it with Stacey (Sitts). I do everything, so there is something for everyone,” she said. “I like the different kinds of tastes people have.”
Hagen said she gets a lot of requests for pet portraits, and has a nice time doing that kind of work.
Patty Gessel was helping her daughter Aleasha promote Wigs 4 Kids. Aleasha Gessel is an independent stylist at Trend Waves in Dansville.
“She (Aleasha) went to school with a classmate whose sister had cancer, and Locks of Love charges for the wigs,” Patty Gessel said. “She believes in Wigs 4 Kids, because they don’t charge for the wigs.”
All of the donations go towards this great cause, and it helps take the pressure off of parents who are dealing with this tragedy.
“She has a passion for kids and giving back,” Gessel said. “She knows what it is like to have a family member going through this. It gets really expensive with the driving back and forth to the hospital.”
Patty Gessel said that her daughter has always been about giving and not taking.
Aleasha Gessel will take donations and if your hair’s a certain length they can use it for Wigs 4 Kids. Visit her at Trend Waves located on 215 Main Street in Dansville.