Sunday, June 24, 2012

Park Point Art Fair: Take It In

Detail of painting by Tatiana Oles
The Park Point Art Fair is back in town. Sponsored by the Park Point Community Club, this art fair is now in its 42nd year, showcasing fine arts and crafts in a whole range of media including clay, fiber, glass, painting, photography, jewelry, wood and other natural materials. There' also music and the traditional array of food vendors.

All this to say that the sun is shining today and yesterday's rains have been chased away, so you really should take a little stitch of time from your afternoon to head on down to the end of the point.

I was quite surprised how many cars and people were there yesterday afternoon. Obviously the early rains did not dampen spirits and many of the artists I spoke with said business was good. After all, for the artists this is a business venture, not just a social occasion.

My aim here this morning is two-fold. First, to make a few observations about what I saw yesterday. And second,to encourage anyone reading this to make it a point to visit the Point today. It will be worthwhile for you and whomever you bring along to enjoy it with.

And if you're not from the upper midwest but reading this, I'm almost certain there will be art fairs in your area this summer. Looking at art is an aesthetically uplifting experience and the cost is zero to get in and enjoy it.

When I was in the screen printing industry I heard someone say that if your t-shirt doesn't have something printed on it, then you are walking around in your underwear. I think the same applies to walls in our houses and office spaces. Whether you clothe it completely or simply embellish it with a few select pieces, walls should not be left naked.

So, what's new this year at the Art Fair? You can definitely see that many photographers are now doing more photo manipulation with their images after capturing them. I saw a number of large photography on stretched canvas with the colors ultra-saturated so that flower literally leap toward your eyeballs. There's more and more photographer printed on other surfaces as well, and I'm sure we'll see even more creative uses of imaging technology in the future.

Annette Mattingly of Ely
Most artists have embraced, or accepted grudgingly, the high tech world we live in today and have websites for their work, or at the very least an email address where they can be reached. But some, like Annette Mattingly of Ely, have remained decidedly low tech. She makes beautiful mandalas out of the elements in her surroundings -- seeds, petals, other assorted natural materials. Her business is called Morning Glory Creations. I own one of her pieces which I purchases several years ago, a beautiful design wonderfully preserved.

A Morning Glory Creation
That's the best part of purchasing art objects. You see them at shows briefly, but when you bring it home you can enjoy it every day for the rest of your life. I think I understand the mindset of collectors. At least a certain kind of collector, the kind who buys art to appreciate it.

If you do make it to Park Point today, be sure you go out of your way to Booth 64 to see the paintings by Tatiana Oles. Originally from Eastern Europe, Tatiana does bright and intricate work that one is hard-pressed to describe.

I found Joan Wilson's mosaics quite original and fascinating. Wilson is from Shorewood, just north of St. Paul, and the way she's transformed old skis and boat paddles into art is quite imaginative. They're very reasonably priced, too.

You should also look for Sam Spiczka in Booth 70, a sculptor from Sauk Rapids whom I hadn't noticed before. He's doing some fascinating work in steel, inspired by natural bone forms. Think dinosaurs, with a pinch more imagination than you might expect. Really cool.

There are a lot of regulars here, too, a small fraternity of creative spirits who could probably tell you how it was back in the early Seventies and how it changed in the Nineties, and how it has evolved to what it is today. Elliot Silberman has been drawing portraits at art fairs and Rennaissance Festivals for longer than some of you have been alive. While drawing portraits of children he considers each one a teachable moment, a chance to impart some kind of wisdom and insight and encouragement to the kids. It's not just about making them sit still, but helping them taking something away that has value later.

All this to say it's going to be a beautiful day today, and if you are not dealing with last week's flood damage this would be a nice way to get outside to get a little fresh air, soak in some sun, entertain your eyes and meet some interesting people. Hope to see you there.



My Inner Chick said...

--Thank you for taking me to the Park Point Art Show.

I couldn't make it, but now I feel as if I have:)

I like this: "each one a teachable moment, a chance to impart some kind of wisdom and insight and encouragement..."

Yeah, kind of like all Art.


Ed Newman said...

Well thanks for the visit, even if you could not visit the Fair. Be well.

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