September 27, 2011

A day at the Afton, Art in the Park

Fall in Minnesota means 'Fall Festival" time.  And that is exactly what I, and a couple of family members did this past weekend.  The City of Afton held its 33rd annual "Art in the Park".  Afton is a quaint little turn of the century town, composed of shops, restaurants, a marina and a museum.  Located on the St. Croix River and just minutes from interstate 94 in St. Paul/Mpls.  The town has a nostalgic feeling of having just "stepped back in time."  The festival is held in the park, and features over 70 craft vendors, showcasing fine art, jewelry, photography, ceramics, traditional crafts and more.  After a quick stop for mini donuts we headed into the Art Fair.  Artist and Crafters were out in full force with some totally amazing pieces.

Customers, Helen Knoedl and daughter
Tricia, Debra's in the back
  One artist, Debra Caserotti's displayed the most beautiful wall art quilts I have ever seen. Debra started "Quilt the Walls" in 1997.  Rather than make traditional quilts she creates landscape art quilts for your walls.  The landscapes are created with unusual batiks, hand-dyed fabrics, screen prints & painted with color crayon skies.  You can see more of her work at  

Julie and her jewelry creations

Julie's object...a darling turtle
 Then we met Julie Johnson from "Feat of Clay"  Julie creates Jewelry and Objects in Polymer Clay.  About 80 percent of her creations are art jewelry, but her kaleidoscope's, bottle stoppers and the array of sculptural pieces were most impressive.  Each piece is individually made with a unique design and composition.  It was so exciting spending time with Julie as she shared her processes and techniques with onlookers.  She is an artist of passion and it really comes out in her work. If you would like to read more she has a wonderful web site at 

 Strolling on, out of the corner of my eye,  glistening in the sun, was some of the most incredible beaded jewelry pieces I have ever seen.  Marti Johnson of MLJ Designs displayed a wide variety of gems, art glass, silver and gold, roman glass, African, antique buttons, Italian glass, and beautifully beaded flowers.  Marti  has been a full-time artist  for 18 years.  She travels all over to present her work, and you won't want to miss her next month in Stillwater, Mn.
Laura Christensen
Captain Kevin
I can't review an Art Fair without a visit with a "Potter" And I did just that.  Laura Christensen creates functional and decorative pottery in her studio in St. Paul Mn  She is a thoughtful potter and creates thoughtful pieces.  You can reach her on her web site  And if you're really into pottery, don't forget to stop by Mudslingers Pottery just north of town.  Captain Kevin has an inviting tent just outside his studio where you can purchase functional ware, such as, cups, bowls, plates, serving dishes and other useful items.  And, if you would like to create your own piece, he holds classes and private workshops at his studio on the corner of Stgecoach Trail and St. Croix Tr.  Look him up  for more information.
Ed & Eileen Kohn
There were so many great artists at this event that I could go on and on and on.  I don't want to end this blog without telling you about a couple of artists that we are highlighting in our artist interviews in October.  Ed & Eileen Kohn are local crafters that live right in Afton.  Each November they hold a craft fair in their home.  What a delightful couple and you won't want to miss out on this, so I will update you in October as to what to expect at their sale.  Also I met the Monya, she creates original velvet pumpkin decorations. Each one is hand-crafted and comes complete with a real stem from a pumpkin, gouard or squash.  I have my very own one sitting right here next to my computer and I love it!  Monya and her pumpkins have been published in several magazines, and is working on something with our dear friend The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond. So watch for that interview sometime before Halloween. 
All in all I had a wonderful time with new friends and family over the weekend.  Check out some of these artists, you won't be disappointed!
Now, go create something,

Andrew, at the Beer Garden Awesome Guy!

My "sister-from-another-motter" Cindy
Brett and Gail
Skip, from Afton I am making applesauce right now
with his apples

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