Park Point Art Fair offers memorable connections for artists, neighborsAt this weekend’s Park Point Art Fair, which has been bringing friends and artists together for 42 years, torch work glass artist Dan Neff might heat things up to the requisite 5,000 degrees in order to show Park Point Art Fair patrons his flair for using a bench burner torch to make pendants.
By: Thomas Vaughn, Duluth Budgeteer News
Spending an evening on a Park Point beach spot with friends usually involves a campfire — just not one stirred up to 5,000 degrees.
At this weekend’s Park Point Art Fair, which has been bringing friends and artists together for 42 years, torch work glass artist Dan Neff might heat things up to the requisite 5,000 degrees in order to show Park Point Art Fair patrons his flair for using a bench burner torch to make pendants.
“The Park Point Art Fair is a really nice fair. As an artist who’s done a lot of these shows, I can say that the hospitality shown to artists can make all the difference between a decent show and a great show. If an art show takes care of you, that goes a long way in creating a good experience for us as artists,” said Neff, who has had to pay $50 a day for parking and carry his tools four blocks for some shows.
In contrast, the Park Point Art Fair has earned a reputation among artists for its friendly and welcoming venue. Carla Tamburro, a Park Point resident and art educator at North Shore Elementary School, is now in her seventh year as coordinator for the event. She points to Park Point neighborhood residents and other local volunteers as the source of the show’s ongoing success.
“The community really comes out to volunteer the weekend. We have a really solid volunteer group who knows the artists and comes out to see them year after year. So, the artists are treated well by the community and I think that’s another reason — aside from the beautiful spot — why they like doing it,” said Tamburro.
The fair location is Minnesota Point, at the southern tip of Park Point. The artists set up outside just off the paved circular road where pedestrians can view their art displays and booths. This year 120 artists are approved for the fair, with 10 on a waiting list.
Andrew Robar is one of those artists. He will display his wood crafts made from black elm, cherry, birch and other Minnesota woods.
“My wife grew up in Duluth, so that’s the connection for us. The location and the people are very unique compared to other places. It’s just a beautiful place to be,” said Robar, who lives in Bloomington, Minnesota.
Tamburro also notes that while many artists do come from Minnesota, the fair attracts artists from places farther away, such as Mexico, Florida and California. All artists must submit applications to a jury, which then admits them to the fair. As a result, the fair has earned a reputation for high-quality exhibits in many crafts such as photography, ceramics, sculpture, fiber work, painting, print-making, collage work, jewelry and glass design, woodwork and pottery.
As always, musical events, a dance troupe, children’s activities and food booths will liven up the day. The fair starts at 10 a.m. and runs until 5 p.m. on June 23 and 24.
To learn more about the Park Point Art Fair, go to www.parkpointartfair.org.