Thursday, August 25, 2011


Celebrating twenty years, the weather was glorious for the Powderhorn Art Fair. I perused the temporary inhabitants of white tents circling the lake on Saturday, August 6th. I knew enough to arrive about an hour before the fair began to secure a parking spot nearby. I brought along a book to read while I waited. for information.

As always, I have a few ideas for possible improvement. Signage is needed from the main thoroughfares to Powderhorn Park located in the Phillips Neighborhood in south Minneapolis. I used to work a few blocks from the park and am familiar with the area. I noticed many people driving around looking confused. It would be nice to have a promotional item highlighting the simultaneous art fairs and the easiest method to travel between them with lots of bike racks. A free trolley service or something similar to the State Fair transportation system would be a real bonus. I’d love to be able to park one place and visit the locations easily. Otherwise, some people may get lost on the regular MTC bus routes. The Information Booth signs need to be larger and more obvious, they were not distinguishable to distribute the printed information guides, which were very nicely written.

Demonstrations in the Community Area of the fair were terrific. Christian & Michelle Davies wool spinning was nice to watch, too Some nonprofit groups were involved in displaying the creations of their clients or cooperative group, which was wonderful. Surprised that Heart of the Beast Puppet Theatre or a May Day Parade group was not present, it would have added a nice performance element. I could not locate the “Tea House” to hear the entertainment. There were no signs or schedule posted. Great to have food vendors scattered throughout the grounds. Could use more wastepaper and recycling baskets. Perhaps partner with the Living Green Expo for a waste-free event and feature artists who practice waste-free processes. Fabulous to have free water available, I always bring my own aluminum water bottle to fill.

Several artists had unique creations, please visit these selected artist’s websites or give them a call. Let them know you saw them on this blog.
Best of Show:
* Tom Ashworth specializes in humorous black walnut characters from an alternate universe. The sculptures have a surprising mix of attachments ranging from medallions to pool balls. Awesomely creative, a WOW! Best of Show! 651-636-1060

Awards of Merit:
* Andrew Johnson makes quirky tableaus that look like small paintings until you notice that the various stitches appear like paint strokes.
* Linda Day’s clay makes you smile. Interesting interpretations of cups, teapots, clocks, and other objects with silly illustrations.
* Jackson Mwaura is a skilled soapstone sculptor. He makes the common human forms, funny animals and a profoundly cute painted hippo.
* Jeff & Darlene Dawald make fine art jewelry with personality. Gorgeous silver smithing, animals, and shapes with fun designs. Energy exudes from their metal.
* Kevin Kluever has a soothing zen-like approach to landscapes. The light is warm and the scenes are charming. Breathe deep and relax…
* Demetra Saloutos offers a wide selection. She welds funky vine trellis and bird watering bowls with a labyrinth. Free cat hair with purchase (good humor). 608-873-1842
* Daron W. Krueger takes magnificent photos. My favorite is a tree located at the summit of a low hill in farm-land (a few miles from his home in North Dakota). He chronicles the tree through the seasons and I adore it when the pale winter sky blends with the snow-covered land to erase the horizon line. Something I experienced as a kid growing up in the prairie. Winter can be nasty but beautiful, too.
* Melvin McGee is a graphic artist who paints busy worlds with capricious animals in vivid tones. Very humorous images.
* Robin (mystery of a last name) creates whimsical animal sculptures. Very cool.

NOTE TO ARTISTS: Please have a business card within easy reach of the opening of your booth. Include website and all contact information. Don’t be rude and growl, “I don’t ship” because you will scare away potential customers. The person asking may seek you at another show but will avoid an artist with a negative attitude. Obviously, the artists listed above all had cards and were friendly.

Sadly, I twisted my right ankle upon departing the park. I limped to the car and had to drive home. It is an old injury, which flares up at the most inopportune times. I iced the ankle but it continued to swell. I can’t afford to see a doctor about it right now. Disappointed not to visit the Loring Park Art Fair and the Uptown Art Fair. I was looking forward to the trifecta but alas…

Read reviews of the Highland Fest Art Fair on August 5th and the Art-A-Whirl Artcrawl on June 23rd. We are blessed with so many talented people! Sorry it takes me a while to write the review but its been a busy month and I carefully consider who I want to recommend. I take lots of cards and narrow down the list to a few.

Create every day.
© 2011

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