Columbia Art League collaborates with Roots N Blues

Anna Xu

With the sunshine poking out from the trees, splattering in the form of splotchy, cotton clouds, Education Director of the Columbia Art League takes shelter under a tree decorated with endearing, lackadaisical string that she weaves with the loom of four fingers. She hopes for children or other festival goers to come join her under the shade to supplement the rings. 

“[The Columbia Art League has] a partnership with Roots N Blues,” Stout said. “They help us with our music at Art in the Park, and so this year we have people doing this kind of collaborative installation.”

The Columbia Art League booths will be there the whole weekend doing crafts like this. Stout said the end goal is to use the threads to decorate another downtown fixture. 

“So, my colleague owns Yellow Dog Bookshop, and she’s hoping to use these in her window display,” Stout said. “She always does a different creative window display for Yellow Dog so I think at least one of them is going to go there.”

Stout comments on the clouds and good weather of the evening. She said she was worried it would rain. Photo by Anna Xu.

This is her first year at Roots N Blues, despite hearing the good reviews of the event from her friends. Her first impressions of the festival was that “there is a lot going on.” She sees the lines of food trucks and vendors as well as the thousands of people ambling between the two main stages. 

“Well, I really wish I could go see Patty Griffin tonight, but I’m here. My father-in-law’s with me. He’s a really big fan of her, so he’s over there, checking that out,” Stout said. “Ben Harper, I’ve seen him before, and he’s great. You know there’s a lot of great artists I’ve heard the Mandolin Orange is amazing, another coworker is a huge fan of them, but I’ve never seen them before.”

Along with the music, Stout cannot help but breathe in the aroma of the different food vendors. Although she has to maintain the booth, she said she would “get something great.” Still, her main priority is to garner interest under the tree. 

“We’re here all weekend; we’ve got our finger woven our shelters that we’re hanging out under and inviting people to come and do finger weaving and add to them all weekend long,” Stout said. “Yeah, kind of a little hangout.”