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Moss Rock Festival
Moss Rock Festival
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Eight years ago, Hoover artist Craig Skowronek had a revelation. He discovered building decks was a reflection of a deeper talent, one that could pull him from the depths of personal struggle.
“I just discovered there was an artist inside of me,” Skowronek said. “Although, it took me awhile to feel comfortable being called that.”
Today, Skowronek uses 25 different types of hardwood to build unique furniture and gifts that he sells at his shop, Lula Woodworks, in Hoover. Skowronek will be one of the many artists displaying work at the Eighth Annual Moss Rock Festival at the Preserve.
Skowronek enjoys transforming ordinary items such as cutting boards and tables into distinctive yet functional pieces of art. He looks forward to showcasing his work at this year’s festival, which he describes as well orchestrated and representative of a beautiful community.
“Homeowners let us invade their neighborhood and don’t complain,” Skowronek said. “The houses are gorgeous. Every aspect is just wonderful.”
Last year, the Moss Rock Festival welcomed 15,000 visitors. Held in the first week of November, the festival is a unique mix of vendors with a focus on art, design and environment. Art includes painting, ink, woodworking, jewelry, metalwork and photography. Green-living vendors showcase everything from the opportunity for a total green home makeover to fuel-efficient cars.
The event also features live music, engaging installations, geocaching, hiking opportunities and a cake expo. It all takes place amid the setting of the 250-acre Moss Rock Preserve, which borders the Preserve community.
“It’s great to see my neighbors in such a leisurely context,” Hoover artist Anthony Tavis said. “It’s such an eclectic mix.”
For three years, Tavis has lived in Hoover right down the street from the festival. He paints original folk art made from salvaged and recycled materials. His website reads, “go to California for the wine, Vermont for the maple syrup and Alabama for the folk art.”
His paintings, which are inspired by cultural and musical themes, will be displayed at this year’s festival for the second year in a row.
“I like to look at different architecture,” Tavis said. “I try to capture the spirit of a place.”
Tavis is originally from Rhode Island but now feels comfortable calling himself an Alabamian, boasting that he wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. It’s a feeling that is particularly strong during the festival.
“I remember last year I was sitting on a trolley coming into the festival and just started thinking, ‘Wow this really is a nice community,’” Tavis said. “We have such great resources. It gave me a sense of pride.”
The festival is free to the public. Parking is available at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium, where shuttles will take visitors through the Preserve neighborhood to the event.