Artigras fine arts festival returns to Green Bay
By Avery Wageman
A wide range of art including pottery, jewelry, fabrics, paintings, and wood workings will be on display from dozens of artist vendors from across the midwest.
In addition to all of the work created by professional artists, Artigras patrons will have the chance to make their own artwork with woodworking at the family-friendly activity area.
Music and dance will be performed throughout the event with acts such as a jazz quartet and belly dancers.
For fans of the summer fine arts festival, Artstreet, Artigras is an opportunity for the community to continue supporting artists year round, and to provide a bit of color and inspiration in the dreary months of winter.
The festival’s patrons are not the only ones who may draw inspiration from the event.
“Just seeing the other art always adds to what we can do with our own art,” said painter Debra Lee Hellwig. “It’s confirming, it helps to get our art out there and get feedback from other people because it’s hard to work in a vacuum. When we get feedback from other people, we get encouraged to do more of our art because most people are very positive and encouraging.”
Lee Hellwig, who has participated in Artigras for many years, said that winter can be isolating for artists and that Artigras can be a social outlet for artists to get together and talk to the public. She looks forward to sharing her paintings, pieces that layer watercolors, acrylics and materials such as lace and flowers, integrating natural and man-made media.
Howard Ogden, an artist who also blends the natural and man-made in his work, uses homemade plant dyes on his scarves, shawls, and wall hangings.
The dyes he uses are reliant upon which plants are available to be harvested during each season. This past fall he collected walnuts and acorns that produce a range of colors depending on which part of the plant is used.
Ogden’s process combines alchemy with self-taught lessons on his area’s native plants and historical dyeing practices.
“It’s a real pleasure to share the experience with people,” said Ogden. “Some take a piece home with them and some people walk away with some knowledge that they may try to experience nature the way I’m experiencing nature. That’s the real reward.”
For Adrienne Brebrick, sharing her creative outlet with the public is intimidating but fun.
“I think [people] are very generous with their compliments and very encouraging to the artists.”
Brebrick is a ceramicist who predominantly throws stoneware clay to create functional-ware such as mugs, plates, pitchers, and bowls. She also creates decorative pots using raku firing.
“That’s an exciting process, it’s outside and it involves removing the pots from a red-hot kiln, putting it in a bin, and smothering the flame.”
In addition to using different firing processes, Brebrick loves color. She uses a variety of glazes, layering them to develop unique colors and create distinctive textures.
For those looking to support these artists and more, or just seeking a source of entertainment and inspiration, Artigras will be hosted at the Resch Expo from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on March 4 and 5.
General admission is $6 and $4 for patrons 12 and under.