Harvest Festival inspires creative spirit


Ailee Lim

Shields paints one of his original metal creations. He began to work as an artist after his previous jobs as a mime and actor.

Ailee Lim, Staff Writer

With technology becoming more prevalent in society, it can be hard to find traditional art that still resonates with people.

The annual Harvest Festival celebrates small businesses and artists alike. The Harvest Festival was held from Nov. 9 to Nov.11 at the San Mateo County Events Center.

The festival presented the opportunity for featured artisans to sell their merchandise. Most showcased their original handmade products, with objects from paintings to knitted sweaters to jewelry.

Among the artists was Robert Shields, a former mime and actor who now sells original art pieces. Most of his pieces are ‘metal art creations’, which are shaped metal that he paints. Shields focuses on making them colorful and detail-oriented.

“I love seeing how my customers react to my art, seeing their faces light up fuels me to make more pieces,” Shields said.

Live entertainment also accompanied the vendors with Zydeco Flames and John Park. The Zydeco Flames’ music sparked dancing among the audience as they performed original songs and covers.

To bring in the holiday spirit, comedian W.C. Willy walked around the show as Stilt Santa. To add more to the spirit, Mama Claus and Eddie the Elf sang Christmas carols.

Artists like Thyra Rutter were there to promote a positive cause with their art. Thyra Rutter runs Arte for Elephants with her husband, David Rutter. Thyra Rutter makes original pastel colored elephant drawings while David Rutter photographs elephants. They use their art to encourage better treatment of elephants.

“We work to get elephants that are living in substandard zoos and circuses to sanctuaries to start a new life. We are with accredited sanctuaries around the world and donate 20 percent of our profits to the sanctuaries we work with,” Thyra Rutter said.

They hope that their art will inspire awareness towards the treatment of elephants and foster love for them.

There were also new artists coming to the show for the first time. Erika Roberson proudly displayed her first watercolor collection at the festival. She hopes to inspire upcoming artists around the area.

“Create what you love. There are so many different styles that pretty much anything you truly put your heart into will turn out good,” Robertson said.