Rockford’s Community Days is coming Friday and will feature several artists. Pictured from last year is Parkway alumni Todd Buscher exhibiting his acrylic paintings. (DHI Media/File Photo/Jim Langham)
Rockford’s Community Days is coming Friday and will feature several artists. Pictured from last year is Parkway alumni Todd Buscher exhibiting his acrylic paintings. (DHI Media/File Photo/Jim Langham)

ROCKFORD – Dan Keyes will be creating a historical themed mural on the side of the Rockford Firehouse this weekend during the community’s Arts Festival at the Community Building Friday evening and Saturday. The mural is in preparation for the Rockford Bicentennial Celebration in 2020.

Originally from Minnesota, Keyes now lives in New Bremen. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in theater and has acted professionally. He has also worked at historic sites.

In his spare time, he was the drama director at New Bremen High School and co-founder of Lock One Community Arts. Keyes is described as a “self-taught artist” and has done faux painting, word graining, marbling and murals in St. Marys, Fort Recovery and Coldwater.

Keyes will be available for “meet and greet” on Friday, June 14, from 5-9 p.m.

Emilee Fisher, a 2014 graduate of Parkway High School will be directing a “Paint Poppies” event at noon on Saturday. Fisher is currently an elementary art teacher at Southern Wells Elementary School, south of Bluffton, Indiana.

“I enjoy teaching others to paint and seeing the joy on their face with their finished painting. Art truly brings people together and reminds us of the beauty of the world around us,” said Fisher.

Other artists who will be participating in the festival with their themes include Jan Heiser, A Cup Full of Love, Cassie McMurray, Humble Owl-Bee, Bob Ransbottom, Ole-Mil Creations, Jill Parris, Free Lance Artist, Parkway Middle School Artwork, Nita Habegger, Textile Artist, Jonah Jones, Double J’s Tinker Shop, Misty Riley, Four Power Bakery and Shannon Painter, Market Street Mural.

Local educator Ransbottom, representing, “Ole-Mil Creations,” will be presented with uniquely created wooden barrel pens and key chains. Ransbottom’s wood comes from all over the world including olive wood from the Holy Land and maple from Ohio. All pens are customized in some way with names engraved, favorite sports teams, and teacher pens with black and red in them.

Riley, a nurse, has been wondering what she is going to do when her twins graduate from high school.

“I love to do creative things, crafting, gardening and especially baking,” said Riley. “I’m a nurse by day and a mom of three boys, the youngest being twins who just graduated from high school .

“I’ve really wondered what I am going to do with all of my free time and have been contemplating a part time job,” continued Riley. “I think I’ve found it in my little baking business, selling cupcakes, cakes, cheesecakes and other baked goods.”