Wishing Spring Gallery hosts 27 artists Oct. 20-21, same weekend as War Eagle Fair

Wishing Spring Gallery hosts 27 artists Oct. 20-21, same weekend as War Eagle Fair

For more than 50 years, the Village Art Club hosted one of the most popular fall arts and crafts festivals in the region.

“But when covid hit, it was impossible to continue due to lack of volunteers and vendor attendance,” says Pearl Williamson, one of the directors who manage the club’s Wishing Spring Gallery in Bella Vista. “So when the club decided to not do the show anymore, we thought that a smaller version at the gallery grounds would be ideal. This will be our third year.”

This year’s Fall Festival, set for Oct. 20-21, will showcase 27 vendors, eight of whom are exhibitors year-round in the gallery. In addition, there will be a “potters alley,” two food trucks, live music both days, artist demonstrations and more. The gallery will also be open Oct. 16-21 “so craft goers — and vendors — will have some time to do shopping before the big weekend,” Williamson says.

Williamson adds that a jury of six reviewed applications for the festival, which will be held outdoors. All kinds of artwork, from woodworking to jewelry and home decor to photography, will be included, but “their work must be their own; we do not accept resale items,” she says.

The rest of the year, the organization, now called the Artisan Alliance, works to “bring new and exciting items to the gallery for our customers” with spring and fall “tent events,” a Bison Night celebrating the gallery’s history as a bison and cattle barn and a Christmas open house.

“We generally have a jury for new exhibitors in March for people who want to bring their items into the gallery,” Williamson adds.

Three of the artists participating in the Fall Festival talked about their work with The Free Weekly.

Rosie Floyd


Part of a Bella Vista husband-and-wife team called Rosie Loves Art, Rosie Floyd is an acrylic painter who has recently been exploring impasto/textured effects in her work. Husband Dave creates digital art and has recently journeyed into AI-generated art.

“It’s exciting to see how two people with different skills can design an amazing work,” Rosie Floyd says enthusiastically.

Floyd was making art as far back as she can recall.

“My parents noticed my talent and gave me a desk on which to work,” she remembers. “In a large family of nine, you recognize that kind of gift is rare! My dad and four older siblings could [also] draw quite well [and] my mother was very creative with sewing.”

Nowadays, she says, she takes lots of photos to inspire her work in acrylic, pastel or pen and ink.

“As an artist, an art show provides the opportunity to relate to visitors about how the piece was created, the story behind it,” she says. “That to me is the biggest part, the story of it, the inspiration to start and the journey through to the finished piece.”

As a member of the event planning committee, Floyd wants shoppers to know that each of the artworks — hers and all the others — “has the artisan’s unique signature, whether in paintings, textiles, woodcrafts, photography, pottery. There is a proverbial ‘thumbprint’ of the artist’s personality in each piece. And that piece is significant in that respect way past our lifetimes!”


John Dyas


As John Dyas Pottery, Bella Vistan John Dyas makes decorative and crystalline glazed porcelain and is an exhibitor at the Wishing Spring Gallery.

“I produced art pottery back in the ’80s then took a 30-year break from ceramics to pursue a different career,” he says. “I started making pottery again in 2022 at The Clay Studio behind the Wishing Spring Gallery.

“I love to make things of beauty! The creative process has always been exhilarating to me. Wrestling with the idea of a pot, then trying to bring it into reality, is a difficult but hugely satisfying experience for me. The only thing better is to see someone else enjoying it also.

“I have a very active imagination so I can usually see what I want the piece to look like when it’s finished before I even start,” Dyas adds. “Then, quite honestly, I blunder and recover my way through each step of the process [and] one in every 25 or so comes out perfect — and it is enough to keep me going. Then there are some blunders along the way that actually end up looking different but better than I imagined!

“It can truly be said of crystalline pots that no two are ever alike. Each one is a work of nature’s art in itself.”


Jim Reitz

Wood Art

“I’ve made functional and decorative things in wood and metal for at least 70 years,” says Bella Vistan Jim Reitz, a retired electro/mechanical engineer. “My first memory of making something was when I was 7 or 8, and each of us in my Cub Scout den made a cranberry scoop. Mine proudly hung in my mother’s kitchen for well over a half a century — [and] it’s now in my son’s kitchen.”

Reitz says he inspired by his ongoing curiosity.

“Seeing something that makes me wonder how it was made … can easily set off a challenge that I find hard to resist. Sometimes it only takes a suggestion from someone that sends me off to the races.”

After creating a pattern, Reitz chooses the wood then creates a rough cutout before hand carving or hand forming to a finished shape. He says he’ll have “between 25 and 40 unique designs” for the fall show.

“My art will be a wild collection of American and worldwide hardwoods crafted into unusual and unique designs,” he describes.



Wishing Spring Gallery

Fall Festival

WHEN — 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 20-21

WHERE — Outside Wishing Spring Gallery, 8862 W. McNelly Road in Bella Vista

COST — Admission & parking are free

INFO — wishingspringgallery.net

FYI — The gallery will be open during the show. Regular hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.



There’s More!

War Eagle Fair — 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 19-21; 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 22, 11037 High Sky Inn Road in Hindsville. Admission free; $5 parking. wareaglefair.com.

War Eagle Mill Arts & Crafts Fair — 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 19-21; 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 22, 11045 War Eagle Road in Rogers. Admission free. 480-4449.

Sharps’ Show at War Eagle — 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 19-21; 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 22, across the War Eagle Bridge and behind War Eagle Mill. Admission free. 789-5683.

Pumpkin Patch Craft Festival — 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 19-21, United Lutheran Church, 100 Cooper Road in Bella Vista. Free. unitedlutheranbv.org.

It’s Fall Y’All Craft Fair — 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 19-21; 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 22, Benton County Fairgrounds, 7640 S.W. Regional Airport Blvd. in Bentonville. Free. liveloveeventsnwa.com.

Ozark Regional Arts & Crafts Festival — 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Oct. 20, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Oct. 21, NWA Convention Center, 1420 S. 48th St. in Springdale. Free admission. 756-6954.

Ozark Regional Arts & Crafts Fair — 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 19-21, Washington County Fairgrounds, 2537 McConnell Ave. in Fayetteville. Free admission. 756-6954.

Categories: Galleries