HUMBOLDT - The Humboldt Arts Festival brought the arts to John Brown Park and the people for its seventh year Saturday.
"We love to expose the community to artists in the area, show them the talents that they have," Nancy Huddleson, Humboldt Area Arts Council director, said. "This year we have 21 artisans showing their work, demonstrating their work, selling their wares."
She added, "It's chock full of fun art projects free to the community."
-Messenger photo by Brandon L. Summers
Maria Pettinger, a Dakota City artist, displays one of her works, titled “Serene Skies,” at the seventh annual Humboldt Arts Festival Saturday.
In addition to the visual arts, the musical and dramatic arts were also represented at the festival, Huddleson said. A new feature of the festival was the Bohemia Acting Troupe, a children's theater production.
"These are junior high kids. They wrote and edited the script, designed their costumes and props. Amazing," she said. "It is a fantasy, enchanted forest story.They've done a fabulous show this year.
Huddleson said it was inspiring to see young artists participating in the festival.
"This is a treasure," she said. "When the youth get involved, in any aspect, to pick up a paintbrush, they're whole life is affected by it. They can't help it. They'll do it again, try it again. Hopefully that will carry through their adult years and they'll have great memories from doing this."
Maria Pettinger, a young artist from Dakota City, brought her original acrylic paintings to the festival, for display and some for sale. One piece uniquely depicted a tree, another the celestial sky.
"I love being able to express myself," she said. "I don't like just copying something. As you can see, with the tree, you don't think of the sky being that color or the tree having red in it, but that's the way I see it. I'm able to paint it the way I see it. If people like it, they like it. If they don't see it that way, then I still enjoy doing it."
Pettinger said she enjoys being able to show her work.
"I absolutely love it. And I understand. Art is like anything else. Some people aren't going to like it, some people aren't going to get it, and some people are going to love it," she said. "I've been able to take a few when I was in high school to some art shows and show people, but this is the first time I've been able to display it for people to see it. I really appreciate that. It makes me feel good as an artist."
Tyler Sandstrom, owner of From Miry Clay Pottery in Dayton, demonstrated his craft to rapt crowds.
"I do this full time in my bank building that I bought in Dayton, Iowa, for about six years now," he said. "I've always liked working with my hands and creating functional pieces that are useable and aesthetically pleasing."
Sandstrom said he enjoys when people appreciate his art and his craft.
"That's always very nice, that they can use it and they keep coming back and buying stuff," he said.
There was fun for both children and adults, Huddleson said.
"They get to play in paint, sand, painting Van Gogh style, with palette painting, they have spin art over there, and make their own visors, because this is a hot sunny day today," she said. "We also have interactive arts with the adults. They can come in and do their own work."
According to Huddleson, the festival grows more popular and attracts a larger crowd with each year.
"We have a wonderful community," she said. "They do come out to show their support. And not just Humboldt. People come out from other towns. This year, I'm seeing a bigger crowd because of the theater production. I think it's a real good showing of the community supporting the arts."
The festival is meant to bring beauty to the community, Huddleson said.
"It's to embellish their life. We love to bring things that are uplifting and they can enjoy it," she said. "I love the fact that even on a gray morning, starting out, the anticipation of what beautiful things are going to be coming out here, and getting to experience the arts, is exciting. Being exposed to the different types of art, you'll see the smiles on people's faces. Art has that effect on people."