Sturdivant fair offers unique finds

Published 5:18 pm Saturday, November 21, 2015

A Selma native Porter Rivers shows off his watercolor art at Sturdivant Hall’s Artisans Fair Saturday. Rivers, who has only been watercolor painting for a year, uses the historical buildings of Selma as his inspiration.

A Selma native Porter Rivers shows off his watercolor art at Sturdivant Hall’s Artisans Fair Saturday. Rivers, who has only been watercolor painting for a year, uses the historical buildings of Selma as his inspiration.

By Justin Fedich | The Selma Times-Journal

Sturdivant Hall’s Artisan Fair, in just its fifth year, welcomed a variety of art and food from returning vendors and some new faces.

Artisans Fair project chairman Peggy Allison said it’s the wide assortment of skills and items that bring more visitors and vendors to the Artisans Fair each year.

“It’s the variety of things that the people have to offer,” Allison said. “And it’s also a wonderful opportunity for the community to come in and visit Sturdivant, perhaps revisit or sometimes a first visit for people. It’s just a beautiful historical building so it’s a nice way to show off.”

Mary Waters has lived in Selma for more than 30 years, but this year was her first time visiting the Artisans Fair.

“It was awesome,” Waters said. “I really liked to see that it’s my first time coming here, and I’m getting all this beautiful stuff.”

Some of the items that caught Waters’ eyes were homemade jewelry from Edie Delp. Since Delp and her husband retired to Florida five years ago, Delp has been looking for ways to keep herself busy and to visit Selma.

The Artisans Fair gives Delp an excuse to do both, as she can share her newfound hobby of making her own jewelry with silver, gold and aluminum.

“For me to come back it’s like home week to get to see everybody, see all of my friends,” Delp said. “So for me, that’s the best part, simply because I miss Selma and I miss my friends.”

Delp has been selling jewelry at the Artisans Fair every year since it started, but it was 20-year-old Porter Rivers’ first time putting his watercolor paintings on display. Rivers, who currently attends Samford University, said he loves the craftsmanship of many of the historical buildings in Selma.

The architecture of Selma is something Rivers has always had a passion for, and now he recreates that architecture through his watercolor paintings.

“I get a lot of inspiration from Selma, and I really appreciate my hometown,” Rivers said. “This is where I like to put a lot of work into and just enjoy it.”

The work of artists weren’t the only original items for sale Saturday. In a separate building, the smell of homemade bread, cake, jam and goat cheese filled the air to provide visitors with a treat after looking at the variety of art.

From pine-straw baskets to hand-turned wooden dolls, the Artisans Fair’s 22 vendors each brought various talents and creation.

“I think that sometimes we don’t appreciate all the diversity that we have here in the arts field,” Delp said. “The creativity, you walk through and you think, ‘How did they think of that?’ That’s amazing.”