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Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette
Janet and Randy Grepke of Fort Wayne look at wares atthe Covington Art Fair on Sunday for the first time and “loved it.” Many vendors offer homemade crafts and artwork in the Covington Plaza shopping center.
Experiencing art in the city

Covington Plaza transforms

Local shoppers browse for treasures at annual fair

– It’s somewhere between the oil paintings and the giant copper crickets that you realize art is not for looking at. Art is for experiencing.

So touch that hand-woven hat and take a close look at the hand-made pottery. Heck, stop at DeAnna Su Studios’ tent and Diana Schafer-King of Fort Wayne will help you make your own, one-of-a-kind marbled fabric. All of this – as well as everything from stunning black-and-white photographs to hand-crafted jewelry to T-shirts that say “Buy Art,” were available at the annual Covington Art Fair at Covington Plaza.

The artists displaying their wares, of course, were hoping you would – for a fair price – take their art home and experience it every day.

“There’s a pretty good art-buying market here,” said Joseph Pelka, who makes low-fire earthenware.

Pelka’s not bothered that some people view his work less as art and more as decoration. “Most of the time people want to have some use out of it, but they’re also pleased with the colors and think it’s beautiful,” he said. “Some want to match everything in their house, and some are just interested in the pure art and don’t care if it matches anything. You appreciate all your customers.”

Carol Bower of Fort Wayne is one of those customers who appreciates the artists as well – she goes to the Covington Art Fair every year.

“I live close, I love the show, I love that it’s outside,” Bower said after looking over wildly designed mirrors and tables. “I usually buy something every year.”

This year it was a metal bracelet, which she especially liked because it appeared to have been woven from fabric.