Art and artists from across the Driftless Region will converge on Soldiers Grove during the weekend of September 17 and 18 for the Seventh Annual Driftless Area Art Festival. Art lovers will come from many parts of the country to meet the artists, enjoy their work, and select from among many hundreds of art works in many media.
Those attending this year’s festival will find functional as well as aesthetic pieces created by the 80 artists who live and work in the Driftless Region: drawings and prints, ceramics, fiber, glass, jewelry, metalworks, mixed media, oil and watercolor paintings, pastels, photography, wood carvings, turnings, furniture and sculpture.
Some art lovers will be able to get a sneak preview through the Purchase Award program. They’ll commit ahead of time to buy art and will be invited into the grounds an hour before the Festival opens on Saturday, to browse as well as to buy. Purchases, however, may be made any time during the weekend. Creators of the selected art will receive ribbons designating them as Purchase Award recipients.
“A Purchase Award is a guarantee of art sales for a festival,” said Liz Quebe, Festival co-chair.” “The higher the amount of total Purchase Awards sold, the higher the assurance to artists that they will realize healthy sales at the festival.”
Area businesses, institutions and individuals can promise to purchase art works at the festival, knowing that 100 percent of each purchase goes directly to the artist and thus supports the work of the art festival. It helps attract high-quality artists and helps ensure that they return in subsequent years.
Purchase Awards are made in increments of $100. If, at the festival, buyers want to purchase items of higher value, they can pay the additional funds within a week of the date of purchase. If they select items of lesser value, excess funds go to support future art festivals.
The Purchase Award program was introduced in 2007 and amounts pledged have grown steadily each year since. In 2010, Purchase Award sales topped $6,000
In addition to visual art, festival-goers will enjoy performing artists Patchouli, the River Ramblers, the DitchLilies, and String Ties. They’ll also find culinary arts created by chefs, brewers and vintners from the Driftless Region.
Major funding partners for the festival include, which last year attracted 4,000 visitors, include Peoples State Bank, Royal Bank of Gays Mills, the Village of Soldiers Grove and its Community Development Corporation, and Wisconsin Public Radio. Other benefactors include Dependable Solutions, Scenic Rivers Energy Cooperative and Star Valley Flowers. In addition, over 3,000 volunteer hours go into planning and conducting the event.
For more information on the Purchase Award program, and all aspects of the Festival, call 608-624-3600 or visit www.driftlessareaartfestival.com and click “Support Us.” If you’re planning on participating in the Purchase Award Program, organizers ask you contact them by Sept. 1.