SIOUX CITY | Rose Inman was one of the 102 artists showcased at the Sioux City Art Center's ArtSplash Saturday at Riverside Park.

Inman is a 92-year-old porcelain painter. Her work features flowers, birds, and Christmas scenes painted on tea sets, plates, fruit bowls and ornaments she calls "luster balls." It was the first time she attended the art festival, although she has been to many other festivals and craft shows, she said. 

Porcelain painting, also called china painting, is a skill she picked up more than three decades ago after her sister introduced her to the hobby. Her gift was then sharpened by her teacher Gayl Smith.  

"I gave up smoking and put china painting lessons in my budget instead," Inman laughed. "I think that was a good swap." 

Her talent in the craft has been displayed in several trade publications, including The China Decorator and Porcelain Artist magazines.

"This stuff takes forever to do, a long time," Inman, of Sioux City, admitted. "People think you whip it up overnight but some of these things take eight or nine different paintings and firings before you are through."

People have asked Inman to pass her skills to others as a teacher, but she respectfully declines. 

"I'm 92 years old. I'm not going to start teaching anybody," she said. "I'm going to relax and enjoy the time I have left."   

ArtSplash features artists from around the country at Riverside Park, 1400 Riverside Blvd. The event hosts hands-on art, musical entertainment, kids’ art and fun zones, food vendors and booths promoting nonprofits in the area. 

Saturday's "perfect" weather drew more than 7,000 to the park, estimated Erin Webber-Dreeszen, the Art Center's development coordinator.

"All of the nonprofits and the kids' fun zones and art zones have been inundated all day," Webber-Dreeszen said. "Just seeing the numbers coming out of those areas has been fantastic ... The food vendors have had lines all day, the artists have been busy talking to people all day. So I think that overall, I don't think we could be happier."

ArtSplash will continue 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at Riverside Park. Admission is $5; children 11 and under get in free. Visit www.siouxcityartcenter.org/artsplash for more information.

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Crime and general assignment reporter

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