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July 3, 2022 - 8:08am

Ramble mixes art, dance, music, food and people for winning recipe Saturday

posted by Joanne Beck in Ramble Music & Arts Fest, notify, batavia, news.


Raymond Doward had a couple of tables full of his acrylics and watercolors during Saturday’s Batavia Ramble Explore Art and Music Fest.

Paintings focused largely on people — often in silhouette form — plus animals, landscapes, sports and a bit of politics, he said. There was a watercolor eagle with a U.S. flag in red, white and blue, and a portrait of former President Obama. Other works featured dogs, mostly of their faces, looking endearingly at the observer, and some abstracts that he's been including more recently, he said.

A Batavia native, Doward has a studio at Harvester Center and sells online through eBay. The soulful earthiness of his work seems to lend well to his role as a “minister of the Gospel.” Or maybe it’s the other way around.

A soft-spoken Doward feels as though he has a God-given talent that he’s not about to squander.

“I’ve always enjoyed art. I could be looking at the sky and think, oh, that'd be a beautiful painting, and it in and of itself inspires me,” said the 1978 Batavia High School grad. “I like painting families; the importance of family. Also, I love to see the work of other artists. And then I can kind of gain some insight.”

His biggest accomplishments so far have been to have a work published in International Artists contemporary magazine, he said, and to have another piece — in grays and turquoise-hued blues — licensed by NBC Universal Studios as a backdrop for the Megyn Kelly Today show.

“I do I feel like He gave me the gift and the talents and so I don't want to waste it,” Doward said. “I’m also trying to show my grandchildren that they can do the same thing if they are motivated and stay focused.”

His young granddaughter Aniya helped her grandfather at the vendor booth. It’s an understatement to say she appreciates his art.

“There's so many emotions about it. Yeah. Every piece is different and tells its own story,” she said. “When I get older, like when I get my own house, I already know no other painting will be in my house.”

For more information, check out Raymond Doward 

Meanwhile, down the alley between Jackson and Center streets, a main stage was rocking with continuous bands into the evening.


Spectators in lawn chairs were lined up in rows in front of the stage. Many people opted to duck inside adjacent Center Street Smokehouse or Eli Fish Brewing Company for a drink, food or to get some relief from the hot but gorgeous weather outside.

One spectator apparently fainted from the heat and had to be escorted out by stretcher for medical follow-up. That was a brief bump in the day, as all involved continued on with their tasks at hand.

Restaurant manager Sydney Carli said the day had been busy at Eli Fish. The restaurant had obtained a permit so that drinks could be taken outside, she said.

“It’s been great, the bar’s been hopping,” she said. “It seems like it’s been going really well.”

Organizers Stephen Kowalcyk and Paul Draper agreed that it was one of -- if not the -- best Rambles in its 15-year history. Kowalcyk estimated some 2,000 to 2,500 people in attendance throughout the day and early evening. Still, the event had a bittersweet taste to it, Draper said. Prior Rambles had up to three stages on nearby streets with 30 or more bands playing. This year featured 26 bands.

"I say bittersweet because the bands are back in business. And I love that, you know, everyone's working out for the holidays,  the bands are getting back out there getting gigs. It's a truly wonderful thing," Draper said. "So even though it's a little bit smaller on the band side this year, we had more things to offer on the art side. So I'm really, really pleased about that. And yeah, everyone that we had here this year, tremendous talents. I mean, everyone brought their A game, so I couldn't be happier."

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Top photo: Raymond Doward of Batavia shows one of his larger works on display at Batavia Ramble Art and Music Fest Saturday on Jackson Street, Batavia. Musician and longtime Ramble participant Michael Murray plays with Beethoven's Dream in Jackson Square, as spectators relax in their chairs during the all-day event. Photos by Howard Owens.

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