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The 40th Stockholm Art Fair poster is a painting by Glen 'Sonny' Nelson, one of the founders of the art fair.

Stockholm Art Fair turns 40

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The annual Stockholm Art Fair happens 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday July 20 at the Village Park in Stockholm, nestled next to Lake Pepin.

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The event has come a long way since its inception in 1974. Back then, a group of artists who had recently moved to the area held the art fair as a way to let the people know who they were and what they did.

The thinking was that if no one showed up, it would be just a picnic.

But people did come to the upstart fair along the Mississippi River.

Chickens were bartered, kittens were given away, and enough art was sold to set in motion an evolving annual event.

This year marks the 40th Stockholm Art Fair, now a juried fine art show that is a very big event for the tiny town of Stockholm.

The Stockholm Art Fair is one day only - and is always the third Saturday in July. This year 107 artists will fill Village Park just off the Great River Road.

Artists from five states will show and sell their paintings, jewelry, clay, glass, sculpture, fiber, leather, photography and more. The fair also features live, original music all day long and local foods made by area chefs.

Each year a different artist creates the poster. These quickly becoming collectibles.

This year the poster was created from a painting by the late Glen "Sonny" Nelson, one of the fair's founders, a talented artist and much loved member of the community.

His abstract painting is called "Protocol."

The fair is truly a happening community celebration, anticipated by thousands of people every year. People are sure to find diverse and outstanding fine art,plus music and ambiance - a perfect way to spend a summer day in a small town, organizers said.

The food is primarily local. Find grilled portabella mushroom sandwiches, homemade lefse, wild rice bratwursts, Greek food, Thai chicken wraps, locally raised organic chicken and beef on pita bread, and locally roasted coffee. This year you will also find made to order wood fired pizza.

Hear music by...

Who: B. Squat Woody, a multi-faceted one-man band

When: 10-10:40 a.m.

More info: www.colleenandunclesquaty.com

Who: Emerging singer/songwriter Mike Quick

When: 10:45-11:25 a.m.

More info: www.mikequick.net

Who: Folk rock and flamenco duo Patchouli

When: 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.

More info: www.patchouli.net

Who: Yata, Healey & Orfield play jazz folk rock

When: 1-2:15 p.m.

More info: www.yatayata.com, www.sueorfieldband.com or www.markhealey.tv

Who: 40th annual group sing-along and awards announcement

When: 2:15-2:30 p.m.

Who: Wisconsin-based American and international roots music group the Ditch Lilies

When: 2:45-3:45 p.m.

More info: www.theditchlilies.com

Who: Little Wing, with samplings of vintage blues, jazz, roots and soul

When: 4-5 p.m.

More info: www.myspace.com/leftwingbourbon

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Stacy Bengs-Silverberg
Stacy Bengs has been a photojournalist at the Red Wing Republican Eagle since 2010. She holds a bachelors degree in journalism and art from the University of Minnesota.
(651) 301-7880
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