A ‘Doorway to the Arts’

Linn Creek Arts Festival drew a large crowd

T-R PHOTOS BY SARA JORDAN-HEINTZ
All day Saturday, the grounds of the Fisher Community Center were packed with folks attending the annual Linn Creek Arts Festival. Over 60 artisans from all parts of the country were on hand, selling their wares. Original paintings, jewelry, photos, ink drawings, glass art, ceramics, rugs and more are just some of the mediums that were represented. Youngsters got to enjoy their own art activities including painting a vintage car, which was donated by Hogeland Auto Plaza. Live entertainment included taekwondo demonstrators, dancers, an accordion trio and Exit 185. Thai, Mexican, Cuban and BBQ cuisine was available, as well as desserts and brews.

T-R PHOTOS BY SARA JORDAN-HEINTZ All day Saturday, the grounds of the Fisher Community Center were packed with folks attending the annual Linn Creek Arts Festival. Over 60 artisans from all parts of the country were on hand, selling their wares. Original paintings, jewelry, photos, ink drawings, glass art, ceramics, rugs and more are just some of the mediums that were represented. Youngsters got to enjoy their own art activities including painting a vintage car, which was donated by Hogeland Auto Plaza. Live entertainment included taekwondo demonstrators, dancers, an accordion trio and Exit 185. Thai, Mexican, Cuban and BBQ cuisine was available, as well as desserts and brews.

There was something to satisfy every art lover’s tastes at the annual Linn Creek Arts Festival, held Saturday on the grounds of the Fisher Community Center.

This year’s theme was “Doorway to the Arts.”

Over 60 artisans from all parts of the country were on hand, selling their wares. Original paintings, jewelry, photos, ink drawings, glass art, ceramics, rugs and more, are just some of the mediums that were represented.

“It’s a well-rounded festival,” said Amber Danielson, executive director of the Marshall County Arts and Culture Alliance. “It’s my first year as director, so my first year coordinating it, and we wouldn’t have been able to do this without our team of volunteers and sponsors … We’ve gotten amazing feedback from people saying it’s the best group of artists they’ve seen, and that the food is good.”

Folks from all over the area meandered the grounds, browsing vendors, listening to live music and enjoying food and a brew.

“I just like the atmosphere. It’s always a good crowd,” said Knoxville jewelry artist Nancy Hatch.

Youngsters got to enjoy their own art activities — which were all free of charge — including henna painting, sand art, spin art, balloon art, face painting, the Junior Art Lovers’ Gallery, and painting a vintage car, which was donated by Hogeland Auto Plaza.

New this year was the addition of the Emerging Artist Program, which showed the artwork of nine area artists at the high school and college levels.

“This is my second year coming to the festival. We loved it so much, we came back,” said jewelry artist Caroline Francis of Waterloo. “I can’t believe how many people we’ve seen despite the heat. This is one of our favorite art shows to do in the Midwest because it’s run so well.”

A variety of entertainers took to the stage, including taekwondo demonstrators, dancers and an accordion trio. The featured band, Exit 185, was the final act to perform.

Food trucks Bahn Me, Macubana and Sweet Treats were on hand, as well as food vendors Smokin’ G’s, Lioness Club (selling sweet corn and buster bars), and St. Mary Catholic Church serving Mexican dishes. Several central Iowa breweries brought samples, including Exile Brewing, Confluence Brewing, PeaceTree Brewing and Firetrucker Brewing, as well as Buzzed Bee Meadery out of Melbourne.

Two raffle prizes were awarded at the end of the festival: a 30×30 inch acrylic print by Daniel Marks from Ames, and a welded steel sculpture of a dragon, by Cedar Rapids artist David Leeper. Over $1,000 in Festival Dollars were given out in drawings announced every half hour during the festivities.

“It’s just lovely. I come every year. I’m not very creative, but I admire other people who are,” said attendee Cynthia Mansager of Melbourne. “I like to see young and old people come.”

After the festival wrapped up for the afternoon, the fun continued in the evening for Art After Dark, held along 13th Street. Live music, laser tag, food trucks and a beer garden added to the day-long festivities. Local band Sing, Write, Die performed, and led a secret group of flash mob singers, who were given the music ahead of time to participate in the performance.