Several of the 38 artists showing their work at the second annual Downtown Hannibal Art Fair on June 15 and 16 had also been in the original fair in 2012 and enjoyed their Hannibal experience so much they returned, regardless of the distance.
Although she is based in St. Louis, Joy Yarbrough of Silhouettes ETC explained her work is inspired around the world. As she sold a butterfly silhouette to Cathy Stewart (with Sandy Stewart and Stacey Johann), Yarbrough said her butterfly was “inspired by a big white butterfly on the Great Wall of China.”
The art fair, sponsored by Renaissance Hannibal, awarded prizes to several artists.
The best Twain-inspired Art Piece award went to Nyle Gordon of Ethel, Mo. Katie Ayers-Welch, spokesperson for the fair, explained Gordon brought his portrait of Mark Twain, and “in my personal opinion, it is the best portrait of Twain I have ever seen.”
Gordon was busy painting people sitting for a portrait in his booth. He was telling Lydia Ballard, 12, of Winchester, Ill., just how to sit and turn her head for his best effort. He said he quit his job with the Hallmark Co. in 2004 to be a full-time painter.
First place for 2-D artists went to painter Joachim Knill of Hannibal, making his first appearance at the art fair. His booth was adjacent to that of his wife, Janice Ho, who showed her jewelry, noting she has recently begun using ceramics.
The couple was visiting with another artist, David Johnson of Hernando, Miss., who brought his ceramics.
Second place for 2-D went to Todd Shaak of Maryville, Ill., for his photography.
Joy Yarbrough won third place in the 2-D division.
Allison Norfleet-Bruenger of Maplewood took first place in the 3-D division with her jewelry.
Second place in 3-D went to Jimmie Floyd of Gilbert, Iowa, for her ceramics.
David Johnson was awarded third place for 3-D arts.
Some customers also had returned to town, explaining they bought art last year and wanted more from the same artists. Among them were Dian Link and Carla Gordon of Quincy, Ill., buying items from Jimmie Floyd. Gordon bought a wind chine from the artist in 2012 and gave it to her brother in Chicago, where she said, “it is proudly hanging in his backyard.” This year she was buying another wind chime.
Link was buying lace-embossed ornaments for her grandchildren in California, and was happy to point out how far Floyd’s ceramics were being distributed.
One artist may soon be recognized across the country. Alan Blize of Branson proudly said his wife, photographer Trula Blize, will have 28 of her pictures published in the July-August edition of the magazine Lenswork. She had submitted a portfolio of 28 photos and was excited to be accepted on her first submission.
Page 2 of 2 - After the opening day of the art fair on Saturday, Katie Ayers-Welch reported “the artists were really happy.” They were treated to an artists’ party at Fresh Ayers, and later a large group of them remained together.
As the artists were departing on Sunday afternoon, Steve Ayers, president of Renaissance Hannibal, said “we are in our second year. This is a long-term commitment, and you build it year by year. ... The most important part in the endeavor is the patrons and customers.”
Fore more pictures, see photo gallery.