Creative talents assemble at Reiman Gardens

Shoppers look thorugh photos for sale during Reiman Gardens’ Art Fair. Reiman Gardens held its 10th annual Art Fair on Sunday, July 14. Over 50 artists had their work for sale and display around the gardens.

Brandon Friederich

Ames residents and visitors enjoyed the weather and an eclectic mix of fine art as they attended the 10th annual Reiman Gardens art show on Sunday July 14. More than 50 artists traveled from different parts of Iowa and the Midwest to share their creations with festival goers and patrons of the arts. 

Sculptors, weavers, painters, glass blowers and humming bird feeder-makers set up their booths along the garden pathway for visitors to enjoy. As people browsed through the different collections, many of the artists shared the unique stories and inspirations behind their work.  

Terry Ferguson, of St. Renwick, Iowa, brought his collection of stone carvings to the festival. Ferguson, who had won awards at art shows around the country, had been carving wood and stone for the last 50 years, and is currently focused on sculpting abstract portrayals of lovers and families in stone. 

After 30 years of carving sculptures out of wood, Ferguson began working with stone while living in Kenya. He was working there as a member of the Peace Corps when he began to explore the new medium, drawing influence from African style of Makonde ebony carvings.

“I quit my job, joined the Peace Corps, and moved to Kenya,” Ferguson said. “Life is very good.”

Robert Sunderman, an Iowa State professor in the theatre department, presented his collection of paintings and sculptures at the festival. Sunderman, who has won numerous awards during the past decade for his art exhibits in galleries and shows across the country, has been creating art “since he could walk.”

Sunderman remembered attending art shows with his grandmother, who was also an artist and a big influence on Sunderman’s artistic ability. 

“These festivals have changed a lot since then,” Sunderman said. “Back then, artists would just set up a card table, some would use a picket fence to hang paintings from. I loved going to those shows, even when I was a little kid.” 

Sunderman’s own creative process involves taking things apart and putting them together in a new way. Sunderman cited the famous Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh as a major influence in his paintings, many of which had a very impressionistic quality. 

Art enthusiasts of all ages could be seen strolling through the festival grounds, one of whom was Iowa State student Lexie Boyens, of North Liberty, Iowa. Boyens, a sophomore studying horticulture, is also a staff member at Reiman Gardens.

“I enjoy supporting local vendors at festivals like this one,” Boyens said. “It’s a great way to support the community.”