The free 15th annual Lakeville Art Festival offers many opportunities to bring out visitors’ creative side.
There is ample room at the Sept. 16-17 event for contented browsing artistic creations both inside and outside the Lakeville Area Arts Center and grounds where music, food, wine and craft beer flows, but opportunities also abound for those looking for their own kinds of artistic experiences.
Artist Mark Lusardi will be raku firing clay pieces in the Arts Center’s back parking lot.
For a small price, visitors can choose a piece and glaze it themselves and Lusardi will fire it for them to take home, said Sarah Stowell, Lakeville Art Festival director.
Pottery wheel demonstrations will be held on the north side of the building near a section of the festival devoted to Lakeville’s hometown artists, and the popular community art project will return with an invitation for all to participate.
“Everyone can put their special brushstroke on the community art project designed by Shand Anderson,” Stowell said. “These panels will be displayed on the face of the Art Center when they’re completed.”
The festival, which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, will feature a record-setting number of more than 90 exhibiting artists and include ongoing artist demonstrations.
A silent auction featuring the work of local artists will be held Saturday.
A special youth art tent will be set up for kids to create their own art projects, and a diverse lineup of performing artists will also be on hand to entertain and intrigue visitors.
The event’s downtown Lakeville location, at 20965 Holyoke Avenue, was described by Stowell as “ridiculously easy to access compared to most festivals.”
She said artists are juried to be accepted into the festival and judged again on Saturday, with artist awards given that day to the Best in Show overall as well as the best in show in each medium or category.
Karri Jamison, a professional painter and fiber artist, is the event’s featured artist this year.
On her Facebook page, Jamison describes her most recent body of work as “Whimsical Nature,” a series of abstract expressionistic backgrounds with whimsical nature scenes over the top of them.
She said she is also a private contractor for the arts, specializing in custom murals, portraits, sculpture and costume design.
Jaimson received the Award of Merit at this year’s Edina Art Fair.
She said awards are given out based on the artist’s skill level, innovative design and uniquenes.
Both days will include live music entertainment and the wine and beer tent will be open.
A variety of food options will be available, including wood-fired pizza, gourmet chocolates, mini doughnuts, sliders, fish tacos, hamburgers and Asian-inspired cuisine like potato blossoms and egg rolls.
Mayor Doug Anderson is leading Pedal the Parks tour Sept. 16 at 9 a.m. which begins downtown near the festival and a farmers market will also be held downtown that Saturday morning.
For more information about the Arts Festival, go to lakevilleartfestival.org.