Metro Roundup: Moss Rock Festival to highlight animals, nature, art – 280 Living

October 30, 2022
4:58 AM
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Photo courtesy of Brett Levine.
Jane Marshall will be the featured artist at the 2022 Moss Rock Festival in the parking lot at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.
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Photos courtesy of Moss Rock Festival.
Artwork by Jane Marshall, an artist who splits her time between Birmingham, Alabama, and Michigan.
Animals and nature are recurring themes in the artwork of Jane Marshall, so it’s only natural that the organizers of the Moss Rock Festival chose her to be their featured artist this year.
Marshall, an 85-year-old artist who has homes in both Birmingham and Michigan, will exhibit a collection of her woodcut paintings, woodcut reduction prints and ceramics at the Moss Rock Festival, which is scheduled for Nov. 5-6 in the lower parking lot next to Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.
The festival, now in its 17th year, is billed as an “eco-creative” event designed to celebrate art, nature, creative designs and ways that people can live wisely to sustain the natural environment.
Marshall said art has been a focus and anchor for her throughout her life, providing opportunities to observe things people often see as mundane and translate them into a “rich, visual vocabulary.”
She started drawing animals when she was 3 or 4 years old and is intrigued by the connection between animals and humans, she said. “We effect them, and they are important to us,” Marshall said. “If they aren’t surviving, we aren’t going to survive.”
Marshall said she often uses animals in her art that sometimes are irritating to humans, such as deer (which eat people’s flowers), beavers (which tear things up to build dams) and raccoons (which get into trash and can ruin gardens or crops). Even though they can be nuisances at times, they really are beautiful animals, she said.
She often relies on her immediate environment to stimulate her art, from bird watching on her back deck to enjoying the greenery of spring and fall colors.
Marshall has been a teacher in some form or fashion since she was 21 and spent many years teaching at colleges, such as the University of Wisconsin, Albright College, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Kansas State University, Marshall University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. But she also has spent time selling art supplies and managing art supply stores.
Alex Kunzman, co-director of the Moss Rock Festival, said he has known Marshall for years. She was part of the Magic City Art Connection’s exhibit of “Movers and Shakers: Celebrated Women Artists of Alabama,” and he has his own personal collection of her artwork.
Her pieces involving animals are very whimsical and full of personality, and they reflect the way animals relate to both nature and people, he said.
“They’re just really colorful and beautiful,” Kunzman said. “She’s just a very talented artist we have in Alabama. We’re excited to be able to spotlight her this year out at Moss Rock. … She just embodies what the Moss Rock Festival is all about — the appreciation of animals, nature and wildlife.”
In total, there should be about 100 artists at the festival whose work either depicts nature, is influenced or inspired by nature, uses natural materials or uses recycled or repurposed objects in the art, Kunzman said.
The design portion of this year’s festival will feature Storyteller Overland’s retrofitted vans for adventure travel. “They’re really cool,” Kunzman said.
The “Smart Living Market” will feature items for everyday living that include fresh, organic, locally made, sustainable products and consumables in the areas of food, home décor, body and health products and technology.
For example, Jean’s Apothecare offers herbal seasonings, candles, aromatherapy, infused honey, lip balm, body butter and paper goods such as stationery. All the company’s botanicals are sourced from certified organic farmers, and its partners are ethical in their crop decisions and labor practices, Kunzman said.
Chicken & Sweets Southern Yardbird offers handcrafted jams and preserves using locally sourced fruits and vegetables as much as possible, as well as pickles, candied jalapenos and squash relish, zucchini corn relish, chow chow, fresh peaches, crackling cornbread, ginger snaps, fried lemon pies and more.
There also will be honey from the Ivy Brook Apiary in east Birmingham and Gitts Bajan Pepper Sauce made with fresh habanero and scotch bonnet peppers using a true Caribbean family recipe.
The Hoover Public Library will have used books for sale, and the Grace Klein Community will have information to share about its program to recover leftover food and share with people who need it.
Nature and food
Also, Colin Williams, an art professor and director of new media at the University of Montevallo, will have 200 to 300 tree saplings for people to take and plant at home, Kunzman said. Each sapling will be trackable so Williams can tell where they end up as part of a project, Kunzman said.
The festival also will include a Wonderkid Studio with interactive workshops for children. One of the workshops will let kids create three-dimensional butterflies using string, yarn, raffia, beads, pipe cleaners and jewels, and another workshop will allow young artists to explore all stages of a butterfly’s development.
At least five Hoover schools are participating in an art project to creatively highlight the endangered monarch butterfly and the habitats that help it survive, Kunzman said.
The Birmingham Quilters Guild will be exhibiting quilts from its 2022 Quiltfest as well as more quilts chosen especially for its fall festival showcase.
There also will be a “sweetery” with goodies from award-winning pastry chef Susan Notter of Elizabeth Moore Chocolates and designer chocolates by Kathy D’Agostino of Chocolata.
The Café by the Woods area will include Rae Rae’s Catering, which offers Polish sausage, jumbo hot dogs, chili and slaw dogs, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, Philly beef and chicken cheese steak sandwiches, nachos, pulled pork and chicken, chips, lemonade and fruit punch.
There also will be numerous food trucks, including Cousins Maine Lobster (Saturday only), Nawlins Style Po’boys, Tamale Queen, Corazon Mexican and D&M Snow Cones.
For those who want alcoholic beverages, the festival for the 11th year will feature a beer garden with about 50 craft beers to taste, as well as a home brewery group called the Car Boy Junkies, wine from Plenty of Vino and beer snacks, Kunzman said.
The beer garden will have three sessions (12:30-2 p.m. Saturday, 2:30-4:30 p.m. Saturday and 1-3 p.m. Sunday). Tickets for the beer garden cost $30 in advance and $40 at the gate, but the beer garden ticket includes festival entry and a commemorative beer glass sponsored by The Beer Hog.
Festivalgoers also will have live music and dance performances throughout the day.
For a list of artists who are signed up to come and a sample of their work, or for tickets or more information, go to or call 205-595-6306.
October 30, 2022
4:58 AM
Starnes Publishing LLC