Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Arts

This week culminated with the second annual poetry and arts festival in our little town. Interestingly, it was a Koch-dominated event. More about that later.
The week began with a Koch gathering for Easter. We do so enjoy getting together and are so grateful when it happens.

The Empty Tomb
The centerpiece could have looked better had I started the grass seed early enough. The story it represents is nevertheless wonderful!

For Monday Night Dinner we tasted sourdough pancakes, something from Alaska, as once a month we make our way Cooking Through the United States.

The meal is always great, but the fun and fellowship is equally so. The children present bring a lot of joy.

Zion petting guinea pig Moe
Mike was busy with his creative challenges this week.

Teaching at the Red Barn

Mending and finishing his big project in his studio at home.

Back in December he was inspired by a harpist we saw at a concert. He couldn't wait to get his studio set up in the new house to work on this very challenging sculpture. His perseverance and endurance amaze me. As he says, "Inspiration is minimal. 90% is work." Because he believed it was a purposeful worthy project, he did not give up even though it broke many times. I know he learned a great deal in the process.
Ready for the kiln!
After two careful firings, he added the strings. And she was finally ready for display at the Arts Festival.

Son Stephan was the featured artist with one of his ice sculptures designed specially for the event. As expected, the whimsical painter slowly melted. His brush was the first to fall off.

Michael exhibited other special pieces from his collection.

Even I was asked to enter my paintings.

I wrote the following to explain and encourage, and because this was primarily a poetry event.


I.          Take an oil painting class?
Could be fun, but no time
Still recovering from house fire:
Sorting, cleaning, replacing…

On second thought, maybe…
I loved art in high school and
Someone stole my paintings.
Forty years ago, my husband
made me a palette and gave me
a set of oil paints.
Sadly, I never found the time then.

The class is only two hours a week,
But, no, every new activity
takes more time than you think.

--What do you think, Michael?
--Go for it!

So I did!
Once a week, for several months,
Margaret Gugel worked with us
And taught us the basics:
Brushes and strokes,
Colors, leaves and flowers.

II.         The phone rang.
--Enter my beginning pieces
In the Upland Art Festival?!
--Margaret recommended you.
--Are you kidding?
I’m only a beginner.
--Go for it!
So I did!

III.       And now, friend,
What have you always wanted to learn?
I say to you,
Go for it!
                                    Rita Koch

The poetry reading sessions were lots of fun as well. 


  1. Oh everything is lovely! That harpist is AMAZING! And so are your paintings. I so wish we could have gone. Remind me in March next year so I can get it on the calendar.

    The only thing I can suggest is going to your list of posts under edit posts (in the blogger dashboard: & seeing if it's still there but for some reason not posted. Unfortunately it might just be gone :(

  2. WOW... I would love to see the harpist finished.

    Pancakes sounds really good all of a sudden :-)

    Go to your Week 14 posting and click publish again and see if it works.

    Have a GREAT week!

  3. How fun! Loved seeing all the art and reading your poem. Mike's harpist is amazing!

  4. the harpest sculpture is amazing! will we get to see a picture after the firing and with the strings?!!!

    I saw Mike talk about that on FB, so wish I could have come!!!

  5. WOW the harpist and painter ice sculpture were amazing. All of the artwork was to die for and your poem was wonderful. Thank you for sharing it with us this week.

  6. Yes, indeed, it was a very artsy week for you all!!! As always, I'm so impressed with your family's talent.

    And what a great idea to cook through the U.S. My kids would so enjoy that!


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