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Driftless Area Art Festival is coming up
Driftless Art Fest
‘Waterfall,’ by Bryan Abing, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisc., will be one of the many beautiful works on art on display at the Driftless Area Art Festival.

Artists and art lovers will gather in Soldiers Grove September 16 and 17 for a weekend celebrating some of the finest visual, culinary and performing arts of the Driftless Region.  More than 80 visual artists, a tent full of youth art, six musical groups, and culinary variety offered by area food and beverage vendors will mark the nineteenth Driftless Area Art Festival.

The Festival first opened in 2004 in Ferryville, as the Crawford County Art Festival. Since then, it relocated to Soldiers Grove, and broadened its umbrella to include artists and art lovers from throughout the Driftless Region, the land never touched by the glaciers, including portions of Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin.  The yearly events featured up to eighty artists and attracted crowds over 5,000 strong.

Besides professional artists, the weekend will also include a perennial favorite, the Youth Art tent, exhibiting the works of elementary and secondary school students.  Professional artists will select blue-ribbon winners. Royal Bank sponsors the Youth Art program, with a special $5,000 gift from an anonymous donor in the community. 

Winning young artists will receive cash prizes, as well as awards given to the respective young artists school art program.  The awards will be presented midway between musical performances on Sunday afternoon.

Americana Folk troubadour, Camela Widad, often compared to Brandi Carlile, Patsy Cline, or Sheryl Crow, will open Saturday’s entertainment.    She’ll be followed by Patchouli, a duo who’s been a mainstay of the Driftless Area Art Festival. They return this year for their 12th appearance. The multi-instrumental Guthrie Trio closes out the afternoon with music peppered with the influences of rock, folk, country, and blues.

Sunday’s musicians bring a variety of styles and genres. In the morning the musicians of Kickapoo Joy Juice bring a new take on old time as well as contemporary music with their fine fiddling, ear candy clarinet, solid rhythms and harmonious vocals. 

The afternoon’s two artists are Dakota Bedward, a singer/songwriter who mixes classic country, with modern traditional country songs, and Marques Morel, a Midwestern American songwriter/folksinger, guitar-strummer/harmonica wailer, and street-performer/wandering troubadour, with roots running deep in the music of old America.

The Festival’s Performing Arts Partner, The Richland Hospital and Clinics, sponsors this year’s music.

Other long-time patrons and partners include Community Development Alternatives, People’s State Bank, The Village of Soldiers Grove, Driftless Medical Spa, Wisconsin Public Radio, and Crawford County. All sponsors and patrons are included on the Festival program and promotional materials, and are invited to the artist reception held Saturday evening at the close of first-day activities.

Vital support also comes from over 100 volunteers who help welcome visitors, support artists, and make the weekend event run smoothly.  There are still openings on the volunteer roster, and all volunteers will be invited to the reception for artists.

The Driftless Area Art Festival, to be held in the Beauford T. Anderson Park in Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin, offers free admission and ample free and convenient parking.  Full information on the Festival, its sponsors and volunteer opportunities is available on the website,