There was some boogie-woogie, a bit of scratching and a thrown pot or two.
Saturday's kick-off event for the two-week ArtsSonoma ‘10 Festival was as eclectic as it comes, and then some.
Billed as a “Day With the Arts,” the all-day event at the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts was part art-show, rock concert, dance recital and learning fair.
It also was a call to arms against what Santa Rosa architect and artist Warren Hedgpeth labeled “cultural bankruptcy.”
“We have the wine festivals and insurance symposiums, but we need these cultural events for the analog world, for the playing of instruments and for the reading of poetry,” said Hedgpeth.
Hedgpeth was among 55 visual artists who presented their wares at the kick-off event.
Another was Santa Rosa artist Diana Lee, whose demonstration of drawing on a “scratchboard” drew a crowd.
Using a sharp cutting tool, Lee cut into a piece of clayboard that was topped with a white chalky substance and black overlay. The thin white lines that were revealed with each cut eventually formed the image of an old man.
“Oh my, is this your work? Fabulous,” Bernadette Howard said to Lee.
Howard, a Sebastopol painter, said Saturday's event represented a welcome opportunity to network with other artists and the public at a time when economic woes are forcing galleries to scale back or close.
“Artists are thrown into marketing themselves,” she said. “Having a venue like this helps.”
Potter Laurel Begley agreed. Her demonstration of making clay cups using a potter wheel — also known as throwing pots — also drew interest.
Beneath a large white tent, 7-year-old Jada Byrne was engrossed in making a building using bits of cardboard and glue.
Julie Byrne, the girl's mother, said she was happy to let her daughter play for as long as she wanted to.