A fine arts show with a beautiful view


White tents line Dartford Mill Pond at Playground Park for the Green Lake Fine Arts Show. submitted photo

by Joe Schulz

More than 100 artists from all over the Midwest will exhibit and sell originally designed and hand-crafted pieces at the 47th Annual Green Lake Fine Arts Show.

Tents displaying multiple art media will line the Dartford Mill Pond Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 10, and 11, in Playground Park.

Among the art forms on exhibit will be oil paintings, watercolors, pottery, stained glass, photography, sculpture, mixed media and jewelry.

The juried show runs Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Admission and parking to the show are free; food and beverages are provided by the Green Lake Rotary.

Musical entertainment will be performed by Dan Braaksma Saturday and Paige Hargrove Sunday, both days from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“A walk through the art on these summer days stimulates thinking, aesthetic awareness, cultural exposure, creativity, emotional expression, an appreciation of diversity and most importantly originality,” freelance writer Jean Cornelius penned in the 2019 Green Lake magazine.

Coordinator Ali Rossberg believes the show’s variety ensures there’s something for everyone.

“Whatever you’re interested in there’s something for you,” she said. “And a lot of artists can do custom work, so you can go and see their work and then inquire about having something custom made.”

Patrons also can meet the artists in their tents, learn their processes and watch them work.

Rossberg attributes the show’s continued success to an eclectic combination of artists in attendance.

“I think we’re really lucky to have a lot of local artists that do amazing work,” she said. “And the people that come from far away, they’re doing really interesting work; stuff that people don’t typically see anywhere else around the area.”

According to Rossberg and fellow coordinator Matthew Gordillo, the show has a 40% artist turnover each year, ensuring it’s never the same two years in a row.

“I think the selection committee tries to keep it fresh every year, to keep people coming back,” Gordillo said.

To display art at the show, vendors must first apply, then the selection committee wades through hundreds of applicants before determining which artists are qualified based on multiple criteria.

Art on display must be original handcrafted, as the show does not accept crafts or commercially made items, and vendors are required to keep their booth space presentable, Rossberg noted.

“We look for a level of professionalism,” she said. “We like our show to present as an outdoor art exhibition.”

Each year the show hands out multiple cash awards, which include the “best of show” award, multiple awards of excellence and honorable mentions, best “new” artist and “best display.”

Best of Show award winning artists Jim and Suzanne Skuban hold their award in front of their wooden sculptures. submitted photo

“I don’t want to list a number [of awards] because it fluctuates every year,” Rossberg said. “We definitely like to recognize artists and give back to them.”

Artists are evaluated for their originality, creativity and craftsmanship by a panel of judges, comprised of art teachers and professors as well as recognized artists from the area.

“[The jury is] different every year, so that way different eyes see different things,” Gordillo said.

Rossberg inherited coordinator responsibilities from her family. She now shares coordinator responsibilities with Gordillo and Emily McCarthy.

“Applications from artists come in all year round; we’re constantly doing that end of it,” Rossberg said. “Then it’s just all the preparing; we lay out the map of the park for all the artists to go.”

The coordinators also go to other art shows to find new artists.

“A lot of it really runs like clockwork; [the show has] been going on so long that a lot of it is already planned out,” Gordillo said.

The show draws in artists from throughout the Midwest, from as close as Princeton to as far away as Indiana.

“It’s probably the best opportunity to see fine art of that quantity and quality in a beautiful setting in the park; you really can’t beat the view,” Gordillo said. “It’s something you can spend all day at because you take a while to go through all the artists and then you sit and have good food and listen to good music.”

For more information about the Green Lake Fine Arts Show, call 920-573-4691 or email glartshow@gmail.com.

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