Saturday, March 21, 2015

Stacking stones at Llano's Earth Art Fest

I wrote about the Llano Earth Art Fest that I attended in 2015. If rock stacking catches your interest--and it should--make plans to attend the Fest March 11-13, 2016. Lots of fun and surprises.

Amazing arch formation built by David Allen at Llano Earth Art Fest
A small notice in the newspaper about the Llano Earth Art Fest piqued my interest, so Larry and I drove to Llano to check it out. What also caught my interest was the National Rock Stacking Championship that would be held as part of the festival. Having watched out guide in Tahiti create an amazing stack of balanced rocks, I was intrigued to see what participants would come up with.
Building balanced stacks in the Llano River
was an additional challenge.
I was not disappointed. Several accomplished artists who work with natural materials for a living participated. David Allen was one of these, and I talked with him awhile as he created incredible arches and other installations. “I build something with rocks almost every day,” he said, acknowledging that it takes skill, patience, and spatial awareness as well as creativity. Speaking of the other artists, Allen said on Facebook, “We all fed off each others’ creative energy, resulting in works of monumental proportion.”

Gravity is the only thing holding the
 rocks in place.
TimAnderson, another natural artist, gave several demonstrations during the day as he waded in the flowing Llano River, grabbing rocks from the river bed to stack in unusual formations. Finding the right rock and deciding how it can best be utilized is often a slow process but fascinating to watch.
Stone stacking competitions included artistic creations, height, arches, and balancing. Locals got in on the act, too; and for those not into competing, a large pile of rocks had been brought in to encourage visitors to build their own stacks.

Rock stacking demonstrations fascinated festival-goers.
For spectators like myself, there was live music throughout the day, various vendors and booths displaying eco-friendly products, plenty of food stands, children’s activities, earth art demonstrations, labyrinths, a climbing wall, and additional entertainment.
Located about 70 miles from Austin in environmentally sensitive Edwards Plateau, Llano borders on the Texas Hill Country, where you’ll find some of the prettiest landscapes in Texas. As if that’s not enough nature, it also sits on the Llano Uplift, an area filled with lots of granite.

The tallest rock stack was 74 inches high--built
in a 10-minute timeframe.
So a festival celebrating the natural beauty of the Earth was a perfect fit for this community of 3,300 people. Set beside the beautiful Llano River, the festival, free to the public, enjoyed a perfect spring day. While I marveled at the talent and patience of the artists, most of all, it was amazing to see people become creative with seemingly ordinary objects. Best of all, everyone, including kids, could get in on the fun.
Photos by Beverly Burmeier


Michael said...

Yes, I am a big believer in going to local festivals everywhere and anywhere.

Lisa Miller said...

Thank you for your kind review. We had a wonderful turnout for our first year. Llano invites you to return and bring friends!