Friday, August 28, 2015

Art in the Park Elkader │ WOW!

What's one word I would use to describe Elkader's first annual Art in the Park fine art festival...


Last weekend the small town of Elkader, Iowa, nearly doubled in size as over 1,800 patrons and onlookers joined together in Founders Park to partake in the first annual Art in the Park! Live music and entertainment danced through the park; food vendors served up an artistic display of homemade delicious delicacies; smiling volunteers bounced from tent to tent to offer artists water, snacks, and even a break; and people from all over enjoyed shopping through the windy tent-lined sidewalk of local and regional artists!

Festival goers were given People's Choice Award Ballots as they entered the festival. Not only did they get to cast a vote for their favorite artist, they could fill out the ballot and turn it in at the raffle tent to receive a free raffle ticket! This went over quite well and we were able to see that not only were many people from out-of-town, but this was the first trip to Elkader for several of our festival goers!  We were also excited to see that all of our artists received People's Choice Award votes!

The 2015 People's Choice Award went to David Prehm, Booth #27. Prehm is a master watercolor artist from New Hampton, Iowa. His work is influenced by his love for the outdoors and it can be found locally at the McGregor-Marquette Center for the Arts. David Prehm's paintings have been collected throughout the Midwest, Norway, France, Czech Republic, Japan, New Zealand and Australia! You can also view David's work at Upper Iowa University on the Fayette Campus for a fine art exhibit that opened August 27th and will run through October 3rd. Don't miss it!

The Committee Choice Award was given to an artist whose body of work and booth display exhibited exemplary quality, creativity, and overall aesthetic. It was not an easy decision to be made, all of the artists did such an amazing job! The first annual Committee Choice Award was given to Andrew Wroble, Booth #18. Wroble is woodland manager, a story teller, and an artist from Harpers Ferry, IA. He creates gorgeous treescape ink wash paintings that captivate and mystify. You can find Andrew Wroble's work locally at the McGregor-Marquette Center for the Arts in McGregor, IA. 

After folks enjoyed the festival, many meandered through our eclectic town, checked out the lovely shops, restaurants, and even popped into the 3rd annual train expo. There were fun things to do for the whole family all weekend! 

As a member of the Cultural and Entertainment District and a founding member of Elkader's Art in the Park, I couldn't have been more pleased with the overall outcome of our first ever fine art festival! We are already looking forward to next year and hope you'll mark your calendars for August 20 and 21, 2016! 

Enjoy these photos of our first annual event!

Photos by Art in the Park's official event photographer Michelle Gifford.

Photos by Art in the Park's official event photographer Michelle Gifford.
Michelle, thanks for taking such great photos of the festival and for all of these wonderful images of my work,! Remember folks, you can find my art locally at Willow Creek and 
throughout the year at various Midwest locations! 

Photos by Art in the Park's official event photographer Michelle Gifford.

Photos by Art in the Park's official event photographer Michelle Gifford.

If you are an artist and would like to apply for next year's Art in the Park, please go to and submit your contact information! Please "like" us on facebook to keep up with festival information and official notices when it is time to apply! We look forward to the future of Art in the Park and cannot wait to see who is juried for 2016!

Special Shout-Outs to:

  • Main Street Elkader
  • My co-committee members: Shannon Dallenbach Durbin, Kris Grover, Kate Chandler, Leslie Gibbons, Roger and Rosemary Thomas
  • The subcommittee co-chairs: Faith Blaskovich, Jim and Laurie Klosterboer, Molly Moser and the Guttenberg Creativity Center, Julie Kane
  • Michelle Gifford, event photographer
  • Our countless energetic and welcoming volunteers! 
  • All of the local businesses, sponsors, and supporters
  • The Iowa Arts Council, The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and the National Endowment for the Arts
  • Our 2015 Main Event Sponsor, Brown's Sales and Leasing, 
  • Our musicians, entertainers, food vendors, and... of course our 2015 ARTISTS! 
  • YOU, our patrons! It would not be a sustainable, successful event without our shoppers who came, viewed, and purchased ART! 
A huge thank you to everyone involved! Our first annual fine art festival would not have been possible without the assistance and encouragement of the entire community! 


1 comment:

  1. That is an incredible idea! I loved all these photos. Thanks for sharing here. Well, I also need to hire professional corporate event planners for my international event. I wonder if you could recommend good corporate event planning firm!