It's been a dream of Donna Young's for several years to have a festival in the name of John and Isabel Bloom. And now, a year-and-a-half after she became a one-third owner of Isabel Bloom LLC, Young is putting that dream in motion.
Saturday will be the debut of Village in Bloom: A Festival of the Arts, subtitled "Honoring the Creative Lives of John and Isabel Bloom."
Isabel Bloom, whose sculptures live on in a successful retail operation bearing her name, died in 2001. Her husband John, a noted painter, died in 2002.
"Even though we have a store that has her name and has wonderful customers, I just feel like for the community I don't want their legacy to be forgotten," said Young, a sculptor and former Isabel Bloom protege.
The festival will take place on East 11th Street in the Village of East Davenport, which held a special place for both of the Blooms.
"John and Isabel spent the better part of half their lives living up the street, so they were a part of the Village and a part of the community as a whole," Young said.
The East Village fire station will have a video retrospective of the couple's careers, as well as each of their works on display.
Throughout the rest of the Village, there will be a celebration of visual and performing arts.
Between Mound Street and Jersey Ridge Road will be six hours of performances by professional, amateur and high school groups. And along the street will be "Backyard Animal Sculptures," created by various Quad-City art classes using recyclable materials.
Among the menagerie is a deer made from the label side of aluminum soda cans, a monster created from those free CD-ROMs we're deluged with through the mail and an eagle made out of black and white sporks, the plastic spoon-fork combo that's a fast-food mainstay.
There will be 25 performances throughout the day, including a puppet show and children's entertainer Steve Couch at the Village Theatre, music and dance on a large stage and magician Rick Eugene on a smaller stage.
"I's different from an art festival where you would just attend and look at art, but not necessarily see the talent we do have in the Quad-Cities from a student performance aspect," said Jennifer Weyeneth, an Eisenhower School parent who was recruited by the school's art teacher to be on the festival committee.
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"You have an area that is that proud of art," Weyeneth added, "It's our richness in the arts and performing arts that have people wanting to come out and experience that."
Young said she wanted to schedule the festival during warmer weather, before school is out, but not on Mother's Day weekend. Although this weekend fit the bill, it's also the day for state school music competitions in Iowa.
Discussions are already in place for a second Bloom festival next year.
"Everyone who was on the committee to pull this together feels like it should be an annual event," Young said. "The teachers who have taken part and the schools who have taken part are excited about it."