Artists offer jewelry, quilts, bags and more at Wishing Spring outdoor festival

Artists offer jewelry, quilts, bags and more at Wishing Spring outdoor festival

If you’re still missing the Village Art Club’s fall festival in Bella Vista — which lasted more than 50 years before covid-19 caused its demise — there is a more petite version May 17-18. The Wishing Spring Arts and Crafts Festival is now in its third year, boasting the same level of juried artisan works but just 30 artists.

“When the club decided to not do the [fall] show anymore, we thought that a smaller version at the gallery grounds would be ideal,” Pearl Williamson, one of the directors who manage the club’s Wishing Spring Gallery, said in 2023.

Members of the nonprofit Artisan Alliance along with nonmembers from Northwest Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri, are participating in the festival. Rosie Floyd, a member of the event’s planning committee, says like the art in the gallery, “their works reflect the spirit and diversity of the area and are inspirational treasures for generations to come.

The gallery will also be open in the 100-year-old dairy barn where it was established in 1984.

Three of the festival’s artists talk about their work here.

Sara Paschal

‘The Bag Lady’


I started making [bags from recycled grocery sacks and other upcycled materials] in 2016 when I decided to close my retail cross stitch shop. I was raised by Depression era parents, so the idea of making crafts out of “found” materials was ingrained. I love giving things that might otherwise be trash a new life.

I gather things I think might be useful from thrift stores, recycle bins and customer donations. When I start a project, I look through my stash and see what’s calling my name. Very often things turn out entirely different from the direction I started in. I start crocheting and see where it leads.

I hope they love that my creations are geo-friendly but also functional and attractive.


Cathy Chanin

Creative Crafts By Cathy

Bella Vista

I moved here from Bahrain as my husband and I were civilians working for the Department of Defense. I was a pediatric occupational therapist. I have always been interested in art since childhood, [and] sewing was my passion. I made most of my own clothes starting in junior high. Another craft I started making in high school is French beaded flowers. In 2009, I expanded my sewing to include quilting when we were living in Germany.

My quilting has been inspired by my travels. I have been creating many new items, to include fabric bowls, soft books, baby quilts and other sewing type accessories.


Nancy Dallison

Sterling Studio 403


Having been an art major at the University of Arkansas, I have pretty much always been creating in some form. Natural gemstones are often my inspiration as well as experimenting with the process and encouraging an idea to take form.

My process of fabricating jewelry pieces includes drawing out the design; working the metals — sheet and wire, all .925 sterling silver — by sawing, soldering, filing, texturing, polishing; and lastly setting the stone.

I will have bracelets, rings, earrings and necklaces at the festival.

My wish is that viewers will find my work aesthetically pleasing and meaningful to them in some way.



Wishing Spring

Arts & Crafts Festival

WHEN — 9 a.m.-5 p.m. May 17-18

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

COST — Admission is free


Categories: Galleries