By Emily Williams
Nature and creativity will collide once again for the 12th annual Moss Rock Festival Nov. 4 and 5 at The Preserve in Hoover, adjacent to the Moss Rock Preserve.
The festival will include booths manned by 100 exhibiting artists and artisans whose work is inspired by nature.
One of those is Walt Stricklin of Hoover, whose approach to photography is driven by his environment. Stricklin discovered a passion for fine art photography after a 40-year career as a photojournalist with eight newspapers in five cities.
“While photojournalism still colors the way I see and shoot the world, I am now doing it with my voice, expressing my point of view and enjoying coloring outside the lines,” Stricklin said.
In his Scapes projects, Stricklin takes multiple photos of his subject – be it cities, landscapes or people – and then pieces the photos together to create a panoramic image.
“Since I believe our environment shapes us as much as we shape our surroundings, I want my images to celebrate how we fit together, honoring the harmony between places and people,” Stricklin said. “My works are ultimately photographic sculptures that are a blend of reality and my perception of the situations. The many individual imperfections are left to engage and draw the viewer into my images for the enjoyment of discovery and to help them celebrate our humanity.”
Another artist showing during the festival, watercolor artist Kimberly Paige of Vestavia Hills, is inspired by the shapes and colors of the natural world. She creates pieces inspired by the emotions she feels when seeing, “a sunset in its last 10 seconds, or in the curve of a blooming Calla Lily.”
Instead of recreating a scene, she prefers to create a work of art that reflects her inner self as it is inspired by nature.
“My process is a ritual of self-exploration and escapism. The result is a world in which the viewer can lose themselves. With several sessions of meditation upon the painting, the viewer learns more of their own delights, and therefore they learn more of my own,” Paige said.
Guests can peruse works of both Paige and Stricklin at the festival.
In addition, they can find their own natural inspiration through informative programs including a tiny home exhibition by Atkinson Cottages, kid’s projects in the WonderKid Studios, programming for aspiring gardeners and a Greenways/Pathways Expo that features eco-friendly programs on sustainability, outdoor activities and more.
In addition, the festival will offer live music and opportunities to take advantage of outdoor activities through guided hikes, a fly fishing workshop and a climbing wall.
The sixth annual Beer Garden will offer craft beer, food and sustainable wine tastings on Saturday from noon until 2 p.m. and again from 2:30 p.m. until 4 p.m. A Sunday tasting will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Festival hours are Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free parking and a shuttle service will be available at the Hoover Metropolitan Complex.
Tickets for the festival are $10 for the weekend or $7 for one day, $5 for seniors and students and free for children ages 15 and younger. Tickets for the Beer Garden are $25 until Nov. 3 at 4 p.m. or $35 at the gate and include festival admission.
Proceeds from this year’s festival and Beer Garden will support future Moss Rock Festivals and the mission to offer art and eco-educational programs for kids and adults.
For more information, visit MossRockFestival.com or call 595-6306.