LoLa Art Crawl

The LoLa Art Crawl is our local art crawl hosted by the League of Longfellow Artists, with artist’s homes and studios open to the public for two days. In its second year, it’s a polished event, brought to my attention first by the sudden disappearance of our neighbor’s furniture from their front porch. Not having been robbed the night before as I first worried, they were participating in the LoLa crawl, and the front porch would be one of many spots where Richard Parnell would be displaying his pieces. Frank and I watched our neighbors, Richard and Brenda (also known as R&B, who are the loveliest neighbors ever) moved furniture, set up sculpture, hung title cards and bought ice cream (I will get to that part soon). We watched with curiosity, waiting for the weekend and the great unveiling. As Sunday came to noon, we walked across the front lawn and entered the front porch space where handcrafted wood tables, wood sculpture, found object sculpture, charcoal and pencil drawings, and letter-pressed books marked every surface. These images will do a far better job in illustrating the beauty of his pieces:

Making our way from the quiet and meditative front porch space to the backyard where handmade garden sculpture, trellises and rock and water features are abundant, we were lured to the louder, carnivalesque sounds coming from the alley.

“Make Art Not War” is one such piece that grabs your attention and beckons you towards to try. It is an interactive piece where you place a small cup of paint behind a spring loaded plastic soldier toy (that is holding a paintbrush, naturally) which you activate via the spring to fling the paint onto a (formerly) white board. Meanwhile, R&B are asking what kind of milk shake you want – vanilla? chocolate? and with your reply, roar the blender into action, whose motor is propelled by riding a stationary bike.

Ranging from the calm seashell drawings hanging in the front porch to the kite flying in the backyard and whir of milkshake making, it’s always a true delight to be shown and walked through the talents of a neighbor and wonder what will be showing next year.

A second neighbor – a new neighbor – was showing her work as well, and as I leafed through her pieces, realized I had looked at these pieces over a dozen times on Etsy! It was a fortunate coincidence to not only finally meet my neighbors, Megan Moore and her husband Patrick, but to meet an artist whose work I’m already familiar with and drawn to. Please check out her work here, and the print I have looked at often and now have in my home, Winter Tree at Lake Calhoun:


3 Comments on “LoLa Art Crawl

  1. Thanks for mentioning LOLA, and my art! We live in such a great neighborhood… By the way, your recent post about your garden inspired me to get some fall vegetables planted. The seeds have sprouted, and I we’re on our way to fall lettuce and radishes!

  2. A very belated (sorry) thank-you for the lovely essay and photos. Wow, my first review! Fun to learn how you saw it and what caught your attention. I may take a break from the art crawl next year (it was a lot of prep), but you may get to see any new outdoor works as they appear (or get worked on out back). But that won’t be for a while, as I’m sensibly hibernating in the basement studio/shop (currently working on an edition of those handmade recycled computer diskette books – based on revisions of some of Aesop’s fables that I wrote under my “Aesop” pen-name, “Saoirse”.) Hope you and Frank are staying warm, and that Cassy is listening to the “Hurry Up” command on these cold days.

  3. Richard…multi-talented for sure….besides helping others with ramps. You need to bring the blender, next time, I can bring the ice cream – ha

    Paul P

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