In Humboldt, art’s diverse

HUMBOLDT – Art’s diversity took center stage at the annual Humboldt Arts Festival Saturday in John Brown Park.

“I didn’t realize how much creativity is in our area until this event,” said photographer and exhibitor Kevin Tobey, of Dakota City.

“You come here and see it all. You realize there truly is something for everyone – every kind of medium and form and material. And it’s all different levels of ability and skill.”

Exposure was exactly the point of the day, said Kimberly Geisler, a board member with the Humboldt Arts Council.

“An event like this brings our community together and fosters an interest in and support for art,” she said. “I’m glad to be promoting art in our town. It is part of us and we should have more of it out there.”

The Humboldt Arts Council is a nonprofit organization formed in 2005 with the purpose of encouraging the education and appreciation of the visual, performing and literary arts. Since its formation, the council was able to raise enough funds and community support through events like the festival that it established a permanent arts center on Sumner Avenue where guest artists conduct classes and instruction in the summer months.

Emily Gould, of Humboldt, a former volunteer with the center who helped with pottery courses, was at this year’s festival to continue to show her support of the organization and art in general.

“I love all the art,” she said. “It’s beautiful. There is no wrong or right way to make art. You make your own thing, express yourself in any form you want.”

Keely Place, 9, of Humboldt, agreed. She donned a paint smock and expressed herself at the impressionist painting easel in the children’s activity tent.

“Sometimes with art you can’t imagine what it will be like at first, but when you’re done it turns out really neat,” she said

Place shared her easel with Emily Fortner, 15, of Dakota City, who also liked the spontaneity of putting her brush to paper.

“I like when you draw or paint,” she said. “Sometimes it turns out just perfect, but no matter what it’s always really fun.”

Adults were able to get in on the creative fun too. Individuals could select a color and paint a section of a commemorative painting of the Sumner Avenue Bridge. Dismantling and destruction of the bridge began in April. The historical bridge was a three-span, concrete arch bridge over the west fork of the Des Moines River in downtown.

Once the painting of the bridge is complete, it will be displayed as part of a float in the community’s Fourth of July parade, then later in the fall auctioned as a fundraiser for the arts council.