Friday, August 5, 2011


Despite the horridly hot and humid weather, artisans displayed their wares at the Highland Fest located in St. Paul, MN. I enjoy attending small festivals that aren’t too commercialized. The fest has become more sophisticated but it still retains the neighborhood charm. Free music, carnival rides, kids events, and bingo are enjoyable.

Outdoor events offer opportunities and challenges. The fest started Friday afternoon July 15th and unfortunately many vendors were harmed overnight by a storm’s wind and torrential rain. It was sad to see the destruction when I visited on Saturday. I hope they all had insurance to cover the damage.

Please let the artist know that you saw them mentioned on this blog. They are not listed in any particular order. Check out their site and consider purchasing!

* Julie Peterson & Sara Ruhnow create cool mosaics using buttons, marbles and several types of medium. I really liked the mirror-encrusted guitar.
* Phil Holtan turns out beautiful burl (berle) wood bowls and flower vases. Polished to a soft sheen.
* E. Alejandro Ortega’s custom leatherwork smelled wonderful. He makes funky masks, animals and would delight real-life fantasy gamers who reenact battles with swords, shields, and sheaths (ComiCon, CONvergence, etc). He's cute, too...
* Abbi A. Allan paints dreamy images of goldfish and sculpts frilly ceramic bowls that mimic the flowing tails of the fish.
* Tino Lopez-Montoya sculpts Dia de los Muertos day-of-the-dead inspired dogs. Oddly cute and clever. Perfect gift for veterinarians and anyone who loves or works with canines (breeders, groomers, trainers, etc).
* Adama Sow sculpts bright rainbow colored bowls and neat ceramic colanders. Nice to see pottery with brilliant tones.
* Laura Holewa has a community of fun little bright clay monsters to scare away the ones in your closet.

I shy away from mass-produced pieces. Some of the artists (not listed here) had items that looked like they were made in a factory. Good for uniformity but I kinda like the variety of flaws within individual pieces of artwork.

Many of the artists have a website, Facebook page, blog, and/or Twitter account, so there are several methods to view their newest creations. Check out “Artists of the Whirl” on June 23rd, 2011 for the Art A Whirl Art crawl reviews.

Support an artist today, buy their creations!
© 2011

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