Art festival will showcase Midwest talent
Albert Einstein once said, “Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.”
That is precisely what organizers and artists said they hope to accomplish with the 44th annual Festival of the Arts next month.
The 44th annual Festival of the Arts will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 3, at the Noel Fine Arts (NFAC) Building at University of Wisconsin Stevens Point (UWSP). Admission is free.
“It’s a fun experience to be around the artists and the community,” said Karin Sieg, a Stevens Point artist who will show in the graphics and printmaking category. “You really get inspired.”
Visitors will see high-quality art forms in a myriad of mediums presented by about 50 professional artists from Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Michigan. A dozen of the artists are local, hailing from Portage, Wood and Clark counties.
The festival not only shows work available for purchase, but provides an opportunity to talk with the artists, learn about their techniques and inspiration.
“The Festival of the Arts provides a wonderful opportunity for area residents to see and purchase high-quality work created by artists in the upper Midwest,” said Lora Hagen, Stevens Point. “As a local artist, I’m happy to have the ability to meet and talk to more people who are interested in what all of us do.”
The atrium and second-floor mezzanine of the NFAC will be filled with glass, jewelry, fiber, drawing, painting, graphics and prints, photography, ceramics, sculptures and wood.
Again this year, UWSP art professor Dianne Bywaters will have art activities for children.
“It’s going to be a great show,” said John Morser, a local photographer who has shown pieces in the festival in the past.
While there is a great source of talent to draw from with the university, organizers have been working diligently to broaden the show, said Morser, a member of the Festival of the Arts Council. Some success has come, he said, as artists from two more states will display work this year.
There also will be a silent auction that includes at least one piece from most of the artists in the show, he said, with the proceeds in part going toward awards for UWSP students enrolled in the arts department.
Award winners this year include Jacob Peichuan, graphic arts; Brooke Newman, studio arts; Natalie Trumm, music. The award in dance was not available at press time.
Winning pieces from the Emerging Artists collection recently on display at the Riverfront Arts Center also will be on hand at the festival to help introduce younger artists in the community: Gonzealo Bonelli, Madison Jahn, Rachel Kawleski, Natalie Khang, Jenna Menadue, Holly Meyer, Kiya Singewald and Mara Steinweber.
Volunteers with the Festival of the Arts Council spend hours organizing the show, including contacting local businesses and organizations that step up to donate items for printing, food for artists when they arrive the day before the show, and many other contributions that help the festival be as successful as possible, said Marianne Walker, Festival of the Arts publicity chair.
“These activities are not just for the benefit of the participating artists; they benefit the entire community,” she said. “And it takes a community to make these events happen. Fortunately, our community is ever-so-generous in donating to make the event successful.”
Worzalla Publishing, for example, has annually donated materials and employees have donated time and graphic arts expertise to produce the posters and other printed materials. Bev Clayton assisted with announcement banners, DigiCopy and The Beat with advertising, and many local restaurants and catering businesses have donated food, Walters said.
“We couldn’t do it without them,” she said.
To see how all of it comes together, and then participate in the culminating event – showing artwork in the festival – is an aspect of her life that Sieg had always hoped for, beginning with her interest in art as a child and young adult. Life moved her into the realm of natural resources, and now she uses that to incorporate into her pieces.
“I have a very close affinity and love for this community and artists and wanted to be part of it,” said Sieg, who is showing in the festival for the second year. “I’ve always done art in a variety of ways, just not at a level to do shows.
“I feel like you should have dreams at all stages of life, so I’m living one of my dreams: to be recognized as an artist and share my love of art,” she said.