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Art Festival Gala Savor the Driftless is May 16
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‘Savor the Driftless’ is the theme for the Driftless Area Art Festival’s Spring Gala, set for May 16 at the Community Commerce Center in Gays Mills. Whether enjoying food and drink, taking part in a silent auction of amazing artworks or placing a bid for an experience or creation unique to our area, attendees will be able to enjoy all aspects of the region we call home.

Dani Lind of Rooted Spoon Culinary will provide an array of plates that feature ingredients from area farms and businesses, including Big River Beef, Down Home Farm, Driftless Brewing, Driftless Organics, Got2HavPie, Hidden Springs, Kickapoo Coffee, Rushing Waters, Star Valley Flowers and Tochko. From antipasto to ‘zested’ hazelnut cake, the meal will celebrate our extraordinary local offerings.

A silent auction will feature 35 art pieces donated by visual artists participating in this year’s Driftless Area Art Festival. The silent auction, always a popular feature of the gala, will offer jewelry, weavings, pottery, watercolor and oil paintings, photography and woodworking, all generously donated by the artists. 

“We love this festival, and it’s a privilege to support it in this way,” says potter Joyce Diveley of Onalaska.

A live auction of the three winning pieces of KidsArt from the 2014 festival is a highlight of the evening. All proceeds from this auction go to support the art programs of the students’ schools. Since its inception in 2007, the KidsArt auction has raised $8,185 for school art programs in the area. 

The three pieces include ‘Spring Fling’ by Ethan Hady of Doudna Elementary School in Richland Center; ‘Orange Man,’ by Claire Walz of Wauzeka-Steuben School District; and the found-materials piece ‘Gone Fishing,’ by Brooklyn Nagel, also to Wauzeka-Steuben.

The evening’s finale is a live auction of Driftless Area creations and experiences, and promises to generate lively bidding. Items up for bid include a large framed landscape painting ‘Summer Afternoon’ by noted Viroqua artist Ken DeWaard (retail value $2,600); a half-hour flight in Loran Nordren’s fabulous AirCam plane ‘Lady Luck’ (featured in the documentary ‘Mysteries of the Driftless’); a tapas party for 16 lucky winners at the home of celebrated Chef Monique Hooker; Kickapoo John’s charcoal in an art bag individually designed and painted by Tim Anderson;  and other great items.

Musical artists Bob Hill and Sandler Waggoner will provide guitar music.

Folks from around the region are invited to celebrate and sample the many artistic creations that make the Driftless area so special.  Anyone who is interested in attending can contact Anna Rodriguez at 608-637-3788 or email