Eyes of the beholders prepare; Art on the Kinni approachesThe crowd meandering down the White Pathway for Art on the Kinni each year continues to grow, according to event chairman Stephen Preisler.
By: Debbie Griffin, River Falls Journal
The crowd meandering down the White Pathway for Art on the Kinni each year continues to grow, according to event chairman Stephen Preisler.
“Last year we had over 4,000,” he said about attendance, which is counted with clickers at each entry point.
The Community Arts Base, which hosts and organizes the annual, juried art fair, hopes to see many more people at this year’s AOK held 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 8, rain or shine.
The concept: Around 50 artists each year, many of them local, line the White Pathway with colorful displays of their creations.
CAB tries for a varied lineup, taking care not to have too many of the same type of art.
Expect to see not only arts objects but also functional and wearable pieces, this year including felted mittens.
Artists work with ceramic; blown glass; wood; “2-D” pieces including photography and paintings of acrylic, watercolor and oil; needlework; pressed flowers; fiber weaving; and wearable pieces such as hats, bags, scarves and gloves made of various materials.
Browsers and patrons will also come across unique jewelry, flower arrangements, Henna body paint, metal art, pottery, blown glass and more.
Preisler says a children’s art station gives kids a hands-on project to do and parents a break to browse the pathway. Visitors can check out the “budding artists” bridge to see not only a handful of new artists, but also the display of local painter Harold Henson.
Preisler said this year in Veterans Park will be not only one of two bandstands but also where two artistic “cooperatives” join AOK.
The Town and Country Art group, as well as the UW-River Falls Art Society, will set up exhibits in Veterans Park.
Preisler said the smaller art groups can’t always hold an independent event and calls both co-ops displays a good addition.
Preisler said people will see demonstrations of two kinds of pottery making, as well as work with fibers and weaving.
Fair attendees will hear live music throughout the day on two bandstands -- one in Veterans Park and one along the White Pathway.
Music coordinator David Markson offers the schedule:
- 9:30 a.m., Old School
- 10:40 a.m., Thea Ennen and Dave Peterson
- 11:50 a.m., Amy and Adams
- 1:30 p.m., Walter and Friends
- 2:40 p.m., The Hot Flashes
- 10:00 a.m., Sarah VanValkenberg
- 11:10 a.m., Joe Loftus
- 12:20 p.m., Junction Mill
- 2 p.m., Rachel James
- 3:10 p.m., Rangers Unplugged
Some visitors most enjoy the day’s tastes and smells.
Preisler said, “We really want people to be aware that there is food at both ends.”
Visitors can enter the White Pathway either near Winter Street and the old power plant or near Heritage and Veterans Parks downtown.
Count on freshly popped kettle corn from vendors in Ellsworth and creamy-cool root-beer floats from a Riverwalk Mercantile rolling cart.
The Dish and Spoon Café will offer hot and cold sandwiches plus some of its menu items. The South Fork Café will sell pulled-pork sandwiches as well as ice cream. Mariachi Loco will have Mexican-food favorites, and local baseball supporters of the Dugout Club will serve brats, hot dogs and burgers.
Other local food vendors include the Unitarian Universalist Society of River Falls and the wood-fired pizzas of Russell Glover Farms. Visitors will also find Greek flavors, as well as Miss Tilly’s toasted almonds.
And throughout the fair, people can feel many different textures, fabrics, finishes and materials.
Preisler said it is encouraging to see that about 80% of the artists renting space and submitting artwork to be judged are artists who have participated in AOK before. He calls it “good vibrations” that those people return.
CAB strives to assemble a mix of professional artists who bring reasonably priced quality work. The non-profit remains, mindful of keeping the number of artists around 50 since many who come to AOK like its size, location and one-day duration.
The AOK chairman reminds people that there will be plenty of parking on the Winter Street end of the White Pathway in the old power plant’s spacious lot.
Wood-furniture artist Ed Krause will judge this year’s works. CAB has said in the past that judges look for originality, quality and execution, among other things. CAB awards $100 to the overall and artist’s choice winners, $50 to the second place winner and ribbons only to two artists who earn the honorable mentions.
AOK visitors can grab at the entrance a program that includes a schedule and location information about the fair, where anyone can become an art patron.
“The world is but a canvas to our imagination.” --Henry David Thoreau
“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.”--Aristotle
“The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.” --Friedrich Nietzsche