Name: Kelley Linehan
Title: Marketing & Events Manager,
Bayfield Chamber & Visitor Bureau
Phone: (715) 779-3335
Email address: [email protected]
The annual event will host 65 artists, with 14 local galleries participating
Bayfield, Wis. – The historic and quaint city of Bayfield, located on the south shore of Lake Superior and gateway to the celebrated Apostle Islands, will be the scene for artists and art-lovers alike on July 18 and 19 during this year’s 53rd annual Festival of Arts & Gallery Tour. Fine arts and crafts from 65 Midwestern artists will be on display in downtown Memorial Park during the two day festival and 14 local art galleries will be hosting open houses and demonstrations as well.
“We have an extraordinary variety of artists participating, featuring everything from ceramics made exclusively from local clays and sand to jewelry constructed from recycled and reconstructed materials,” said Kelley Linehan, Marketing and Events Manager at the Bayfield Chamber and Visitor Bureau and festival organizer. “We have an excellent representation of regional artists this year, many of whom also show their work at our local galleries,” she added.
Linehan said that although the festival has evolved over the past 53 years, it maintains its original mission to showcase the works of regional artists and highlight local gallery owners and makers.
“We had nearly 100 artists apply to be a part of Festival of Arts this year,” Linehan noted. “The art that was juried in is outstanding.”
Because of its location on Lake Superior, Linehan believes Bayfield is an ideal place for a fine arts festival.
“The lake and the nearby Apostle Islands serve as a source of inspiration, beauty and refreshment for all who visit,” she said.
Many local artists and visitors to the area agree with that sentiment, as Bayfield was recently named as one of the best places to live and work as an artist by national fine art publication “The Artist’s Magazine.”
Keldi Merton, member of the Bayfield Artists Guild (a participating gallery in this year’s tour) said, “Artists are always inspired by their surroundings, what could be more inspirational than the earth’s largest freshwater sea? As an artist who tries to use renewable or recycled materials there is hardly a better source of natural resources, be it actual materials or simple inspiration.”
Merton is excited for this year’s Festival of Arts & Gallery Tour because it is a perfect way to attract “folks who really appreciate fine art and artisans” and is a great opportunity for local artists to educate more people about what they do.
“It is a wonderful opportunity to share your passion with old and new art lovers,” she said.
Merton thinks that the wide variety of art venues, shows and guilds in the region provide great opportunities for the local artists to expand upon their crafts and share it with the thousands of visitors who come to the area each year.
Several local gallery owners are looking forward to letting visitors get hands-on this weekend, with in-depth art demonstrations. Eckels Pottery and Fine Craft Gallery will be hosting a “Raku Weekend” at their studio where people of all ages become fully immersed in a unique, ancient artistic process and also go home with a new piece of pottery. Raku is a glaze process that traces its origins to 16th century Japan, according to Pete Skoro of Eckels Pottery and Fine Craft Gallery.
Creating a piece of traditional pottery is time consuming, but the Raku technique allows for a faster firing process. Event attendees will receive a fired pot to glaze for $25, apply the glaze and then fire it in an outdoor kiln heated to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the glazed ware is removed from the kiln, it is immersed in a pit of combustible material and sealed from oxygen. The extreme change in temperature and chemical reaction creates an unpredictable and entirely unique look.
First-year gallery tour participant Madeline Island Museum will be hosting a two-day Ojibwe Artist Residency with Dana Trickey of White Earth Reservation. Tricky will demonstrate the making of traditional quill work.
“This is a terrific addition to the Festival of Arts,” Linehan noted. “It it a great way to introduce visitors to the artistic heritage and history of this region with a useful and beautiful craft.”
This event will take place at the museum on Saturday and Sunday from 10 A.M. to 5 P.M.
Also new to the Gallery Tour is Metamorphosis North, which recently opened in downtown Washburn. The gallery offers artisan chocolates in addition to the usual gallery fare. Owners Judith Polich and Gayle Price are excited to participate in this year’s event, “We are deeply inspired by beautiful art and spend a lot of time in galleries in Santa Fe. We love the idea of increasing the vibrancy of the local art scene.”
Sixty-five selected artists will be set up in Memorial Park in Bayfield on Saturday and Sunday selling their fine arts and crafts. Visitors can anticipate a unique selection of pottery, painting, jewelry, sculpture, glass works, wood carvings, photography and more. Five artists will be awarded “Best in Show” ribbons on Saturday, with the results posted at the Memorial Park gazebo on Sunday. They are judged based on creativity, craftsmanship and display.
Visitors are encouraged to stop in at local art galleries for open houses, demonstrations and special sales as part of the Gallery Tour. This year’s participating galleries include Austin Miller Studio, Bates Art Bar, Bayfield Artists’ Guild, Bayfield Inn Art Gallery, Hitching Post Studio & Gallery, Eckels Pottery and Fine Craft Gallery, Kerr Studio & Gallery, Lake Superior Drifting Stone Jewelry, Metamorphosis North Gallery, Madeline Island Museum, Stone’s Throw, Orchard’s Edge Quilt Shop, Oulu Glass Gallery and Washburn Cultural Center. All open houses and demonstrations are free and open to the public
On Friday, July 17 the Chequamegon Bay Arts Council’s (CBAC) annual fundraising auction, Art on The Bay, will be held at the Bayfield Lakeside Pavilion. Each year CBAC kicks off Bayfeld’s Festival of Arts by providing art-lovers with a cash bar, complimentary hors d’oeuvres and live entertainment while previewing original art items that reflect a yearly theme.
The auction preview and silent auction will take place from 5:30 P.M. to 7:00 P.M., followed by the live auction beginning at 7:30pm. This is CBAC’s most important fundraising event because all of the funds raised are directly funneled into grant opportunities that enrich the arts in the Chequamegon Bay region. For more information about Art on the Bay visit cbayarts.org .
For more information about the Bayfield’s 53rd Annual Festival of Arts & Gallery Tour please call the Bayfield Chamber and Visitor Bureau at (715) 779-3335 or visit bayfield.org/foa. Festival organizers are also featuring participating artists daily at the event’s Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/Bayfield.Festival.of.Arts