GREEN  The City of Green continued its tradition of celebrating the arts this past weekend with the 13th annual art-A-palooza. The free event was held at Boettler Park Aug. 19 and exhibited some of the area’s best local artists in addition to providing scholarship opportunities through the Green Arts Council.

art-A-palooza provides more than a setting to explore local art. The fine arts festival also boasted live music all day, a childrens’ tent where young artists could create and take home crafts, plus a variety of food vendors.  

"This is the biggest I’ve ever seen it and the most attendance I’ve ever seen," said Amy Jo Sanders, who had brought her son to the festival. It was her third year coming out to art-A-palooza.

The artists go through an application process, which makes for a showcase of some fantastic art in a wide variety of media.

"There’s definitely a lot of talent," said Sanders. "There’s really unique things I’ve never seen anywhere else before."

Take stainless steel sculptor Alex Stoll, for example, who makes his art pieces by first conceptualizing them on paper then cutting his creations out of food grade stainless steel with a handheld plasma cutter. He colors his pieces with a torch and achieves different colors by manipulating his fuel mixtures.

"Art-a-palooza’s been great. I’ve been doing this show for probably about five years. Just a nice place around a nice setting," said Stoll as the fountain at the center of the festival rose behind him. "It’s a better quality show."

Beyond the more-traditional artforms and those less-traditional, such as Stoll’s, there was room for unique products such as handcrafted soap. Eva Almasy is the cofounder of Janeva, a company that has been making all-natural, gentle goat’s milk soap with essential oils for almost 10 years.

"We have a farm, and I decided to have goats. I wanted to help my brother because he had a problem with his skin: he was very allergic to everything," said Almasy. "I researched and the most gentle soap is goat’s milk soap. "We use seaweed, carrots, chocolate, different color clay to achieve nice designs."

There’s a lot to take in at art-A-palooza, but when asked about the festival itself and the other artists exhibited, Almasy had just one word: "beautiful."