Young artists find inspiration at Alton Market

ALTON — While many customers of the Alton Farmers and Artisans Market on Saturday came to pay, others came to play.

The Jacoby Arts Center held a free art play day at the market, where children could enjoy art activities while their parents shopped for fresh produce.

Six-year-old Alton resident Thea Mendoza became a young expert in the art of ceramics by creating her own bell.

“At first I made a ball out of it, then I had to make a little hole, but not completely, then I painted it,” Mendoza said. “Then I let it dry in the sun. And then I drew on it. And now I’m going to put my initials on it.

Eight-year-old Peyton Tolen of Godfrey had his own unique approach.

“I rolled it and then bent it,” said Tolen, who added that the wet clay “seemed bouncy and muddy.”

Ella Reno, an 8-year-old girl from Granite City, is taking ceramics lessons. So she was confident she could create another glazed masterpiece like the one she made on Saturday.

“It was fun. I made a bell out of it and painted it,” Reno said. “I unrolled it and used my thumb to make the hole in the middle.”

Ceramics and paintings created by children at the Farmers and Craftsmen’s Market will soon be on display at the Jacoby Arts Center.

“We want to make art accessible to all ages at Jacoby, and the more accessible it is, the more fun it is,” said Jacoby volunteer John Walters. “So we’re just having fun today and engaging the kids in what will hopefully be a pursuit for life.

“It’s as fun as it gets.” said Walters as he helped a young artist create a ceramic snake. “The level of enthusiasm is very high, I see a lot of smiles, especially when they have finished doing something. The look on their face is priceless.

The three children of Bethalto resident Katie Lambie were creating paintings, standing side by side at the Jacoby booth.

“They love it. We love making art,” Lambie said. “It’s amazing. We had never been to the Farmers Market before so this was a real treat.”

The Jacoby Arts Center‘s featured adult performers at the Saturday Market were Jenna Muscarella and Alanis Bing. Live music was provided by Precarious Situation.

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