The sixth-annual Rosewood Art & Music Festival was held on Saturday in the neighborhood between Rosewood and Shandon. The festival was founded in 2010 by Arik Bjorn and Forrest Whitlark, who had hopes of introducing the community to the plethora of hidden artistic talent that lingers within our community and around the nation.
The Rosewood Festival has grown in popularity each year and now not only features many local artists, but also talents from other areas along the East coast. The artists range from painters to jewelry makers and people who sew. Helen Foley, a University of South Carolina graduate, thought it was a great opportunity for current students.
“I think it’s a wonderful idea to expose you to the Columbia art scene, and vice-versa," she said.
And for the rest of the Columbia community, it is an opportunity to spend time with family. One of the kid-friendly activities at the festival is the white dumpster placed in the center of the event that serves as a blank canvas for the festival-goers. The public is allowed to paint and decorate the dumpster, which allows for attendees to express their creativity and interact rather than simply observe.
Caitlin Parker, a recent USC graduate, has been attending the Rosewood Festival for several years as an observer and was a participating artist for the first time this year. After completing her studio art degree, she went on to paint 60 canvases this summer while searching for employment. Parker now works as a graphic designer and has continued to paint as a hobby. She credits her education for her artistic success.
“I had really good teachers. I think the arts school is underrated at USC. The teachers are willing to help you, and they know what they are doing,” Parker said.
Whether you study art, are passionate about art or are just a spectator, Parker encourages USC students to participate in this event.
“It’s in a good location because students live in the area," Parker said. "It’s a great way to start off a productive Saturday, especially on a day with an away game.”
Andrew Sheppard, a University of North Carolina Chapel Hill graduate, has made a career and name for himself painting with oil pastels. Sheppard participated in the festival for his first time this year. He is a unique artist because, in addition to painting, he does woodwork and creates all of his own frames. Sheppard recently became a professional artist, although he has had an interest in drawing since he was three years old. Sheppard didn’t realize he could make a living off of artwork until he received moral support from a fellow artist. Although his business-oriented field of study isn’t related to his career, Sheppard works eight to 12 hours a day and travels the country following his dreams, serving as a reminder to pursue your passions.
Another one of the many talents at the Rosewood Festival was Trey Ryburn. Ryburn had just moved to South Carolina from Texas, bringing his fresh artistic skills to the local community. Ryburn never studied art, but after a recent accident, he began to paint as a coping method. Ryburn uses spray paint to create mystical images on unusual surfaces ranging from guitars and vehicles to canvases and headboards.
Although the festival benefits the local community and thriving artists, there are many more attractions, from delicious food to $2 non-alcoholic beverages and $3 draft beer. All of the non-alcoholic beverage proceeds were donated to Epworth Children’s Home.
While the community enjoyed the beautiful and tasty attractions at the festival, local bands and performers shared their talents as well. From art to food to live music, the Rosewood Art and Music Festival offered something for everyone in the Columbia community.