Yesterday we got up early and made the trip down to Northport, AL and the Kentuck Festival for the Arts. We had the added bonus of having our friend Charles meet us down there and hang out with us during our rounds through the festival site, leading us to some really cool artists in the process. The art school student in me still enjoys looking and exploring, though I’m still nervous about what is becoming more and more likely to be a return to the world of creating.
The festival is in its 35th year of providing an opportunity for folk arts to be displayed and having patrons enjoy the results in central Alabama. Based on our conversations with Charles and some of the other artists, it was easy to see that the festival had more of what would be considered contemporary work. I just enjoyed seeing booth after booth of artwork
felt quite upset that we did not have enough wall space to take it all home with us. The cooler weather helped to make it feel more like a fall festival that we’d stumble upon back up north at this time of year.
The bulk of what got purchased was prints. I got a chance to finally get a copy of the poster from the Man or Astroman? show that I went to in September as well as a second piece from Standard Deluxe. There were some great mini-notecards from Yee-Haw Industries. The best piece I got yesterday was from Perkolator Press; a special edition print for Kentuck depicting a study of Van Gogh’s Starry Night and William Butler Yeats’ When You Are Old.
It also made us realize once getting home that we have way too much art that is not up as of yet.
Today we joined fellow Catalyzers (still not sure if that’s actually a word) from the Parks and Greenspace pillar on a hike/journey through Turkey Creek Nature Preserve. This is our second hike of the year; our first led us through the soon-to-be Red Mountain Park property in western Jefferson County. The property visited today was scheduled to be used as the site for a new county jail facility in Pinson, AL.
Residents started a friends group to save the property, resulting in 450 acres of woods, old building foundations, and Turkey Creek itself. Our trip just 20 minutes north of downtown Birmingham also allowed us to enjoy some gorgeous fall foliage.
Images from the hike are available in this photoset. The group’s next excursion will hopefully be to Ruffner Mountain Nature Center in the next two months.
While at Kentuck I stumbled across a quote by Mark Twain that I find quite appropriate:
Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.
Thanks to some conversations this weekend I was reminded of the importance of the meaning of this quote. To stay within the walls you’ve put up for yourself is to deny yourself the opportunity to enjoy life to the fullest. There are many times that you need to see something else in the world to either appreciate what you already have or to show you an ideal that you hope to achieve. I’m sure that there are many people that live in the Magic City that do not get a chance to go out and explore and do all that there is to do nearby. Sometimes you may just have to go out and discover it on your own by stumbling upon it. The hope that you will want to do this brings the promise of a more active area, though it’s already pretty active. Getting outside of that comfort zone is sometimes all that is needed.
So let’s get out and explore. You never quite know what’s going to be at the end of the road.