The Alabama Coastal Foundation believes they may have found a new permanent home for the annual Earth Fest. The event has normally has been held at the Fairhope Pier until Saturday when the event moved to the new Five Rivers Resource Center on the …
The Alabama Coastal Foundation believes they may have found a new permanent home for the annual Earth Fest. The event has normally has been held at the Fairhope Pier until Saturday when the event moved to the new Five Rivers Resource Center on the Causeway. Program Director for the Foundation, Melissa Applegate, said, “The new Five Rivers Resource Center made a perfect host for this year’s event.” Applegate said, “We are ecstatic.”
More than 22,000 people attended the day-long festival, designed to remind citizens how to correctly use the Earth’s natural resources and provide a better understanding of how we can affect the environment. Applegate said, “The weather was beautiful, Five Rivers was wonderful, and I think everybody had a great time.”
The event featured live music, refreshments, as well as a video and lecture schedule that featured a number of videos designed to educate visitors on the effects of Global Warming. A controversial subject that believes the Earth’s near surface air and oceans are heating up. According to one of the videos shown during Earth Fest, “The Science of Global Warming”, the change is largely due to the industrial revolution and the burning of fossil fuels. The video theorized the increased temperature will eventually cause a change in the precipitation patterns, a melting of polar ice caps and eventually lead to a number of catastrophically changes such as extreme weather events and the extinction of some species of animals.
One of the most impressive displays at the event was a clothesline filled with denim jeans used as the medium for art. The display called “Hanging Out on the Causeway” featured more than 550 different pairs of jeans decorated with an environmental theme by students from 15 area schools.
Nancy Raia, ABC project director at the Eastern Shore Art Center, said, “This is their vision of the future. What I asked them is as you grew up here, what do you remember that you loved?”
Raia said “Some loved fishing, sunsets, birds, and boating. I told them to project forward; what do you want to do with your grandchildren someday? What do you want to be alive healthy and flourishing? This is what they came up with.”
One hundred of the pieces of art will now become a part of a traveling art exhibit. Raia said, “They will be on display at the Fairhope Music Festival and at the Eastern Shore Art Center to begin with, and then traveling all over, as a way of promoting Earth Fest.”
Raia singled out one group of elementary school students from Covenant Christian School in Mobile. The third grade class of Karin Marrero used a style of painting taught to them by blind Fairhope artist, Ricky Trione.
“Ricky uses raised paint for his art, because he needs to be able to feel the paint,” Raia said. “After just one session with Ricky, these students responded by using the same style of painting.”
Trione who was blinded by an accident as an adult visits area schools to introduce the children to his three dimensional style of painting.
“I’ve been going into schools and doing a lot of work like this, mainly kindergarten and sixth grades since the schools do not provide art for those students,” Trione said.
Saturday at Earth Fest the artist was working with children to create their own pieces of artwork. “I let the kids come in and we mix up paint and they can create their own painting,” Trione said.
The children were given some hands on experience with Trione’s style of art. “A lot of artists do not want you to touch their work, I encourage it, and I have to, so please touch it,” Trione said.
A number of original paintings by Trione were on display in the Delta Center portion of the Five Rivers Resource Center during Earth Fest. One of Trione’s works depicted a local natural phenomenon known as a Jubilee. It is an event that occurs usually during the summer months, when conditions in Mobile Bay send a number of different species of sea life to the shoreline. The painting Trione said, “It is what I remember of a Jubilee as a child.” “I grew up just a block up from May Day on College Avenue.” “My dad would take me down there and, I can remember the crabs, flounder and shrimp on the surface coming in to the beach.” “My painting depicts the beginning of a Jubilee with them about eight feet from me.”
The Alabama Coastal Foundation will move another event to the Five Rivers Resource Center next month.
The fifth annual Crawfish Craze will be held May 10 at 6 p.m. The fundraising event will feature all you can eat crawfish, shrimp and beverages plus live music from Greg Memphis and George Eberlein.
Tickets are $25 and available from the Alabama Coastal Foundation at 251-990-6002.