Art gifts

Driftwood will become art at All Washed Up in Vermilion – Morning Journal

A very special season is back Main Street Vermilion as local artists collect hundreds of pieces of washed up driftwood and other natural beach items to turn into art at this year’s All Washed Up event.

Main Street Vermilion executive director Marilou Suszko is helping organize the event with coordinator Carolyn Hill and both said they were very pleased with the expected turnout.

“It was another banner year for collecting driftwood, and you can see the creative ways artists used it here at the event,” Suszko said.

all washed will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., July 23, at Exchange Park, which is located around the corner from Liberty Avenue and Main Street in Vermilion.

The event began four years ago as a way to use driftwood washed up on city beaches, Suszko said.

“Every year a pile of driftwood gets washed and cleaned for the summer season,” she said. “We thought this event would give these pieces a second life.”

The event is free. More than 35 participants ranging from young children to professionals are currently registered.

This year, All Washed Up is introducing a professional category for creators of Lorain County Wood Carvers Club to show off their craft.

While the event is all about fun and games, a judging ceremony will take place for each age category with the winners announced at 11:30am and a People’s Choice award presented at the end of the event.

Categories include kids 5-12, teens, adults and a team category.

“We’ve been very pleased with the response to this free event and expect to see some really interesting and inspiring artwork this year,” Hill said. “It’s a way to celebrate some of the natural beauty that washes up on our beaches, gifts from Lake Erie.”

Hill and Suszko will partner with title sponsor, the Lake Erie Foundation.

The group aims to promote the sustainability and protection of Lake Erie as well as advocate for economic stability, legal advocacy, education, awareness, and innovative sustainable technologies.

Last minute registrations are welcome, but online registration had to be completed by July 15th.

Suszko and Hill call for all driftwood and supplies used to be humanely collected without disturbing the natural environment of the beaches from which they originate.

All entries should be tasteful, clean and stable, they said.

“At the end of the day, the focus is on fun and imagination, so come see how creative people can be,” Hill said. “All skill levels are represented in this contest, from beginners to those with more experience working with driftwood.”