Cresco Fine Arts Show marks 56th year


CRESCO -  Beadle Park was the location of the 56th Annual Fine Arts Show on Sunday, Aug. 6. The arts show is the longest, outdoor arts show in the State of Iowa and a popular show for both artists and consumers. 
The threat of rain kept a few artists from their scheduled sites but that didn’t stop a variety of artwork to be shown, which included metal work sculptures, glass, jewelry, ceramics, photography, fiber and wood.
The Judge Speaks
At 1 pm awards/ribbons were given by arts show judge, Robbie Brokken, gallery director, Lanesboro Arts, Harmony, Minn.
Student Art awards went to Lawson Duerre, honorable mention; Obed Florian, third place; Mieka Regan, second place; and Anna Ptacek, first place.
“Anna Ptacek has several pieces here today,” said Brokken. “Everything she did was really good and today she takes first place honors. Mieka Regan was awarded second place for her fascinating abstracts and use of color.”
Brokken went on to give awards in the adult division.
“I find the work of this artist to be charming, innovative and creative,” she said. “Honorable mention goes to Blaine Hanson, Twisted Salvage Creations.”
Third place went to jewelry maker Connie Rodgers, University Park. Brokken described Rogers as “one of the hardest working artists I have ever met.” 
“The next artist is an artist I happen to admire and makes the coolest pieces,” the judge stated. “Second place goes to fiber artist Mariella TerBeest-Schladweiler.”
Renowned Decorah potter, Dean Schwarz, took first place at the Cresco Arts Show.
“Dean, a ceramics artist has been making art for a very long time,” said Brokken. “His classically done work is amazing. Dean is what we call an ‘art warrior.’ Art warriors give to the art world.”
For the second year in a row, Darla Ellickson, Decorah was awarded Best in Show. “Darla’s work is notable for craftsmanship and creativity and her work is immaculate.”
Ellickson finished by encouraging attendees to support the artists through purchases.
 “Most artists are happy enough if they can sell enough art to buy more materials,” said Ellickson. “So, let’s go out there and buy some art.”
And Artists Share
The creator of Darla Ellickson Jewelry is a familiar face at the fine art show. She is self-taught and has been making jewelry for 38 years, and it all started when she took a jewelry making class in college.
 “The professor taught the class for two years,” said Ellickson. “After two years there wasn’t a lot of interest in the class, and the professor sold the equipment to me. I will be showing at 18 fairs this year.”
Ellickson’s latest technique is fold-forming pieces.
“Fold forming is taking flat pieces of metal and hammering. I am using a diamond textured hammer. You drive the underside of the metal making a curved piece. You then grind the metal from the backside, half-way through the thickness of the metal.”
Hanson, owner and artist of Twisted Salvage Creations, hails from West Union.
“This is my fifth year working with metal as an artist,” he shared. “I started doing this type of work at night as a stress reducer. As I was making pieces in my garage, people would see them and started asking to purchase them. Each piece is unique and most often began with me twisting and turning a piece resulting in an idea for something new.”
Schwarz said “I have been making pots for a very long time.”
His work is in collections around the world including Germany, Botswana, Zimbabwe, England, Norway, Japan, Korea, China and 32 universities.
Schwarz’s awards include Best of Clay-Festival of the Masters, Disney World and Des Moines Art Festival. He also has awards in Best of Show, Best of Class, President’s Award, Award of Excellence and Award of Merit.
The Cresco Fine Arts Show also included music, artist demonstrations, food, wine tastings, children’s activities and drawings for creative cash, which could be redeemed at the art fair.
Beth Guzman, Winneshiek Wildberry Wineries, offered samples of a variety of wines, including Winnie Wonka, Farmers Daughter and Brianna Breeze. Winnie Wonka recently took “best pairing” at the Mid America Wine Contest. Farmers Daughter and Brianna Breeze, both took regular wine division awards. Guzman’s stand was, not surprisingly, a popular stop as art fair goers wound their way through Beadle Park.
Keep art alive by supporting local artists and their work. The Northeast Iowa Artists’ 20th Studio Tour is one of those chances to keep art alive. The studio tour will be held Oct. 13, 14 and 15 throughout northeast Iowa.

Cresco Times

Phone: 563-547-3601
Fax: 563-547-4602

Cresco TPD
214 N. Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136

Sign Up For Breaking News

Stay informed on our latest news!

Manage my subscriptions

Subscribe to Breaking News feed