Hundreds take in art fair in downtown Davenport – Quad City Times

The sky was as bright as the colors below it Sunday at the Beaux Arts Fair in downtown Davenport.

The fair drew hundreds of shoppers and lookers Sunday. Visitors took advantage of the pleasant weather also to enjoy food from vendors and music by various performers.

Mostly, folks were on hand to take in the works by artists selected for the show by a jury.

“It’s always a juried show of fine arts and crafts,” said Vicki Rocker of East Moline, who has been a member of the Beaux Arts Fair committee for more than 10 years. “This weekend, we have shared the spotlight with the Figge Art Museum because of their 10th anniversary,” she said. She and her husband Jim Rocker work in stained glass, and they were among the artists at the fair.

Money raised from the show, which is in its 62nd year, supports the Figge Art Museum, Rocker said. “Within that time we’ve given them more than $600,000. It has added up,” she said.

Inside the Figge, Barb Bleedorn, of Davenport, admission and retail sales associate, enjoyed talking with visitors and watching the crowds just outside the museum doors. Many fair visitors also came in to see the museum, said Bleedorn, who has worked all 10 years at the museum has been open. She has enjoyed “seeing the downtown come alive so much more and being part of the downtown community.”

Strains of music drifted across the fair. Some of the melodies came from the Quad-City Ukulele Players, who strummed tunes such as “Hello, Mary Lou” and “Proud Mary.” Other music came from the booth of Chris and Melanie Foss, of Muscatine, with Songbird Dulcimers.

Chris Foss, who previously was a woodworker and cabinet maker, said he has created dulcimers for 23 years. “We meet a lot of people who haven’t seen (dulcimers) before,” he said. “We introduce them to it. It’s fun to see people get excited about a musical thing.”

Dulcimer music is considered to be folk music, so playing the dulcimer is social, Chris Foss said.

“It’s like being part of a big family,” he said. “We’re all made to make music, and it should be made together.” (He does just that every Monday with other musicians in a jam session at 7 p.m. in the Clark House in Muscatine).

Just around the way, artist Leo Kelly of Bettendorf drew caricatures in his booth. Mitzi Link and her son, Michael Link, 9, both of Bettendorf, stood in line. This is the first year they attended the fair, Mitzi Link said.

“I didn’t realize there would be so many types of art,” Mitzi Link said. Her son had a caricature drawn at the Mall of America near Minneapolis and wanted to have one of the two of them together.

The next Beaux Arts Fair will be Mother’s Day weekend of 2016.