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Film Festival a New LEAF at Llano Earth Art Fest

A walking stack of rocks is just one of the many amazing sights visitors will find at the Llano Earth Art Fest. LEAF 2019 will be held at Grenwelge Park in Llano on March 15-18. Staff photo by Jared Fields

A film festival joins rock stackers and earth artists for the first time at this year’s Llano Earth Art Fest on March 15-18 in Grenwelge Park. Nestled along the banks of the glorious and rocky Llano River, other LEAF features are live music, the World Rock Stacking Championship, workshops, earth art creations, a rock-climbing wall and other activities for kids, and the Free Flow on the Llano Vintage VW Show.

Earth artist Richard Shilling, who will teach his “Natural Art Practitioner’s Workshop” on March 18, is also involved in the newly added LEAF Film Festival, which will be held at the LanTex Theater, 301 W. Main St., from 6-9 p.m. Thursday, March 14. Although admission is free, tickets are necessary. The free tickets are available through the LEAF Facebook page, Shilling said.

The film festival features more than a dozen short films of 15 minutes or less. Balance artist Michael Grab will premiere his film at the event. A question-and-answer session with the filmmakers will follow.

A rock stacker shows off his expertise during a previous Llano Earth Art Fest. Staff photo

Also new this year, the artists will be working with a post-flood landscape.

“We are viewing it as a fresh canvas, a new clean slate,” reads a post on the festival’s Facebook page. “Art will be made from the debris that the raging river left behind.

For Shilling, who lives in England, whatever nature provides is a fresh canvas. He calls LEAF the best of the earth art festivals worldwide. Similar events give artists guidelines and rules to follow.

“At LEAF, it’s set up for the artists to just go and create,” he said.

The face of Mother Nature at a previous Llano Earth Art Fest in Grenwelge Park in Llano. Earth artists use the plants, rocks, and soil around them to create. Staff photo

Earth artists work with natural materials to shape their creations.

“For me, there’s no planning, no preconceived idea,” he said. “It’s about spending time in nature and creating.”

Knowing it won’t last, that what took him hours to create will be changed or even gone in minutes, makes it all the more valuable in the doing, Schilling said.

“I make things that don’t last,” he continued. “There’s something very valuable in creating, not for the end result, but for doing it.”

The temporary nature of the art adds to its mystique and its impact on both the artist and observer.

“It’s a reflection on life,” Schilling said. “If all things we valued were going to be around forever, we wouldn’t value them. Everything is transient.”

For schedule details on workshops, music lineup, and other events, visit the website at

Check out our 101 Llano Earth Art Fest Guide for more.

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