Fall Festival of the Arts returns to downtownRed Wing Art Association’s most popular event, the Fall Festival of the Arts, is held each October during the peak fall color season.
By: Stacy Bengs, The Republican Eagle
Red Wing Art Association’s most popular event, the Fall Festival of the Arts, is held each October during the peak fall color season.
The 2012 festival is set for Saturday Oct. 13 to Sunday Oct. 14. It attracts thousands of visitors. This juried art festival brings more than 90 artists to historic downtown to sell their creations.
“There are obvious reasons for this influx of visitors,” said Fall Festival coordinator Deb Wasmund. “Red Wing’s river valley during the fall season is stellar and the city’s historic downtown area and shopping, restaurants and hotels are true destination getaways. The Fall Festival Committee advertises vigorously and contracts with a publicist for their event.”
The public is invited to purchase the artwork, enjoy the food, the music and the beauty of scenic Red Wing in the fall. There are several activities for children.
For more than 150 years, Red Wing’s scenic beauty has inspired artisans, craftspeople and artists and has been home to world-famous manufacturers of quality shoes and collectible pottery.
The Fall Festival of the Arts was the brainchild of Carolyn and Larry Veeder 46 years ago.
At that time, he was on the Red Wing Arts Association board and an exhibitor at the Uptown Art Fair in Minneapolis. The local festival was held in Levee Park and the artwork that was exhibited was displayed on a snow fence, created by association members and local artists.
The RWAA was located in the basement of the St. James Hotel. The only people who attended were mainly ladies returning from church, as the festival was held only on Sunday, and they attended purely out of curiosity.
The festival’s attendance has grown throughout the years. It is estimated that 10,000 to 15,000 people visit Red Wing during the weekend largely due to the festival, according to Wasmund.
The poster artist is chosen by the Fall Festival Committee and is generally selected from a host of artists, usually two-dimensional artists, who have presented or are currently presenters in the festival.
This year’s poster artist Megan Moore is from Minneapolis and a past participant.
Usually, the poster artist is in attendance when her/his artwork is being used for the Fall Festival. This year, Moore said she will not be attending, because she is currently working on one of her greatest creations to date — the birth of her baby, due the weekend of the festival. She is planning to be present for next year’s event.
New artists are set to be included in this year’s festival of more than 90 creative vendors including: Clay — Abby Lingle, Princeton, Minn., who creates mainly wheel thrown and altered porcelain vessels; Darcy Thabes, Bagley, Minn., a tile artist specializing in custom mosaic-type projects; Steve and Leslie Schroeder, Waconia, Minn., who create functional to decorative stoneware suitable for the home, corporate settings or garden.
Three-dimensional — David Sonnek, Mapleton, Wis., making recycled metal garden art, created using a variety of found metals; M.A.Katke, Friendship, Wis., gourd artist, burns images into gourds, paints and finishes them.
Fiber — Gail Casselton, Grand Rapids, Minn., creates a line of functional leather goods, hand tooling.
Jewelry — Amy and Matt Palmer, Bay City, unique and fanciful jewelry using salvaged objects; Kate Qualley Peterson, Rogers, Minn., bronze metal clay jeweler; Philip Troyer, Delavan, Wis., silver and stone are his primary mediums, but also uses copper, wood and gold; Sue Hammes-Knopf, Northfield, Minn., original pieces of artistic jewelry, using an assortment of beads and bead weaving techniques.
Glass — Anita Scepurek, Burnsville, Minn., handcrafted glassware using multiple layers of glass, fusing, slumped, draped or casted in the kiln and creates plates, bowls, vases, votive holders and more.
Two-dimensional — Dan Mondloch, St. Cloud, Minn., creates custom paintings, murals and drawings.
Photography — Lynn Diebel and Jann Kalscheur, Stoughton, Wis., wildlife/nature photographers who create alphabet letters out of images found in nature. Images are not manipulated and they make custom matted and framed letter shaped images.
Wood — Courtney and Aryn Kern, Little Falls, Minn., handcrafts hardwood kitchen and home accessories using reclaimed wood.
In addition to art, look for opportunities to satisfy all your senses. Red Wing composer/pianist Neal Topliff will perform. Lori Ronchak will play the hammered dulcimer at Red Wing Public Library. The Bald Eagles Jazz Band will entertain from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday. Look for the Zumbrota Community Band at 1 p.m. Sunday Oct. 14.