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Local News / Entertainment

Monday, 7 September, 2009 10:50 PM

Arts, Beats, and Eats serves as plentiful three-punch to four days [FESTIVAL REVIEW]

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Young artists Mikey, Lexi and Lily Powers of Rochester, MI stand next to their art pieces as part of the Summer Arts Project at Arts, Beats and Eats.

by Pete Bublitz
petblitz@yahoo.com

 

(Quicktime Video)

PONTIAC, Mich. -- Spanning a four-day Labor Day weekend, downtown Pontiac became soaked in cuisine, culture, and rain during the 12th Annual Arts Beats and Eats Festival. Similar to other associated events like the Festival of the Arts and the Concert of Colors, Arts Beats and Eats combined a variety in vending with impressively high-profile talent in different areas.

Among such areas was the lineup of on-display artists who set up their works for sight and purchase. From images of dogs in martini glasses to impressive woodwork furnishing (even an impromptu guitarist named Russell Donnellon), the side-by-side tents provided a literal mixup from ceramics to metal along Saginaw Street (the festival’s central artery of activity).

While such displays give everyone something to gander at, several artists said it proved to be a positive advantage in terms of profit. When asked what compelled her to get into a career that involved making life-size sculptures of animals (some of which had actual animal hair on them!), Belinda Riley from Kansas City, Mo. simply replied, “I had bills to pay.”

At the same time, selling works at events like Arts Beats and Eats could also help artists in reintroducing once forgotten pieces of art. Such was the case with local graphic artist Carl Lundgren, who during the late 1960s made numerous rock posters yet briefly drift away from his work. It was much later that Lundgren realized profit could be made and regathered his repertoire for selling purposes. “I go wherever they want posters,” said Lundgren.

Although Monday rains would provide a timely end to the artists’ display schedule that weekend, other representations of the festival’s name would continue to provide attraction and literal taste.

Providing the variety in “Eats,” numerous street vendors from Union Jacks to Ryba’s Fudge Shoppe gave visitors a chance to sample selections from menus across the metro area and state: all within several blocks.

It was an easy access approach that even Pontiac’s finest restaurants around the area cashed in on, opening their doors to bystanders. Remaining open despite so many street stands has been positive in profit, according to a Blue Note restaurant server named Mark, who described it as four months rolled into four days.

While the aforementioned “Arts” and “Eats” held a high presence at the festival, as did various merchandise, service, and information booths, it was “Beats” that covered the most ground by being the most spread out.

Around the festival grounds were up to six stages labeled by different sponsors, music styles, or both (such as the Pepsi R&B Stage or the Soaring Eagle Rock Stage). Each stage featured a day-long schedule of artists lasting from late morning to evening all four days.

The perhaps most recognizable artists named to be part of the festival ended up highlighting the Michigan Lottery Stage, located on an elevated outdoor venue along Water Street.

Among such artists scheduled to perform were Los Lobos, Phil Vassar, Ashes of Soma, Puddle of Mudd, and the closing act of Saturday night, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. The chance to experience each feature making up the title on its own is what made Arts, Beats, and Eats such a plentiful sum of its parts.

 

PHOTO BY GLORIA RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The Ghosts of August performed on the Comcast/Metromix.com stage on Friday, Sept. 4.

 

PHOTO BY MICHELE KOTLARSKY / ©AMERICAJR.com

Checking the ribs

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Artist Brian McKelvey works on a drawing of the "Pubs of Venice".

 

PHOTO BY MICHELE KOTLARSKY / ©AMERICAJR.com

The Kerry Clark Blues Company performed on the Pepsi R&B stage.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

My Garden and Andre's Louisiana Seafood Sandwich Shop

 

::: RETURN TO OUR COVERAGE OF 2009 ARTS, BEATS & EATS :::

 

 

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Unauthorized duplication or use of Text, Site Template, Graphics and or Site Design is Prohibited by Federal and International laws. See our Notice/Disclaimer and Privacy Policy.

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