Arts Minded: AOK is almost here
Just around the corner from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11, rain or shine, comes Art on the Kinni, brought to us by the AOK Committee of the River Falls Community Arts Base, a member organization of the network What We Need is Here.
Now in its 15th year, this juried art fair is a perennial favorite, locally and regionally. Attendance generally exceeds 2,500 people, many new and repeat visitors, mostly from Wisconsin and Minnesota.
What makes AOK so appealing? First and foremost the excellent quality of the art attests to the care taken in the jurying process. There are also fine musical and dance performances throughout the day on two stages in downtown River Falls, Veterans Park on Main Street and Elm, another on the west side of the river near the dock.
Much appreciated is the divine location. Sixty or so artists' booths will wind artfully down the White Pathway bordering the Kinnickinnic River with its lush trees, wild plants, gardens and center island replete with geese, ducks and the occasional blue heron, egret and beaver.
Along the path, just past the dock, picnic tables provide an opportunity to sit and enjoy music with whatever delectable treats you may have purchased from the vendors in Heritage Park, the core of the action.
Heritage Park is across the scenic little bridge immediately west of Veterans Park. The CAB booth there will provide fair information. Those who decide to become members of CAB during the fair will receive a special gift and an Arts Partner card (which provides specials and discounts at local businesses). Taking advantage of this opportunity will benefit you and membership dollars go a long way toward supporting the vital work CAB does to enhance quality of life through the arts in western Wisconsin.
Food vendors will also be in Heritage Park as will the children's creative area. Among the children's activities this year is a sculpture project sponsored by the Area Resource Council (ARC). More young budding artists and first time exhibitors than ever will be located on the bridge. There will also be weaving and willow sculptural demonstrations.
All in all, it's an enchanting art fair that holds a promise of sweet memories for artists and visitors alike. For more information, go to
Some other events and opportunities are coming soon. Please confirm details:
Continuing through Friday, Sept. 3: "Tribes: Many Faces, One People;" photography by Thomas Lindfors; River Falls Public Library, Main and Union streets.
Continuing through Sept. 18: "The Art of Tile;" The Phipps Center for the Arts, 109 Locust, Hudson; for more information, call 715-386-2305 or go to
Friday, Aug. 27, 7-9 p.m.: CAB's Music in the Park concludes with River Falls Cultural Project, jazz standards performed by a local quintet at Veterans Park, Main and Elm streets.
Sunday, Aug. 29, 4 p.m.: CAB's "Open Mike" last time this season at Veterans Park.
Friday, Sept. 3, 5-9 p.m.: First Friday art opening and reception at SEASONS on St. Croix, downtown Hudson.
Friday, Sept. 3, 5-9 p.m.: Art opening and reception at Kelley Gallery, downtown Hudson.
Friday, Sept. 10, 4-8 p.m.; Art opening and reception at Gallery 120, 120 N. Main St., River Falls; hosted by Global M.A.D.E. and Interior Concepts; for more information, call 715-821-9411 or 715-425-6944.
Saturday, Sept. 11, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Art on the Kinni (see above).
Sundays, Sept. 12 and 26, 12:30 p.m. to about 4 p.m.: "A Cabaret of Consciousness: The New Musical for Our Era;" presented by Widespot Performing Arts Center and Community Project; N2030 Spring St., Stockholm; tickets at 715-307-8941 or for more information, go to: www.widespotperformingarts.org
Sunday, Sept. 19, 7:30 p.m.: Layton James, piano and commentary; The Phipps; tickets $22 adults, $15 students; call 715-386-2305.
Call for artists to take part in Spirit of the St. Croix Art Festival, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 25 and 26 at Lakefront Park, Hudson; for more information call 715-386-2305 or go to:
The Phipps also seeks art educators to teach classes to students of all ages and abilities.
Children's dance classes are available in pre-dance, tap, jazz, ballet, Showkidz, and Zumbatomics at the River Falls Ballet Academy; for more information, call 715-220-2360 or to:
There's lots of live music in River Falls. Check out Earth Angels, The West Wind Supper Club and other establishments.
More regional information is available online at