ArtWorks kicks off at CapitolPublished 1:13pm Friday, March 28, 2014
ST. PAUL — Austin arts leaders kicked off the push for the third annual ArtWorks Festival a little early.
Eight ArtWorks officials traveled to St. Paul for Thursday’s Arts Advocacy Day at the Capitol, an event meant to thank legislators for supporting the arts and to tell them how funds from the Legacy amendment are being used across the state.
The group also unveiled some art in the office of Sen. Dan Sparks, DFL-Austin.
Artist and Austin native Eric Anfinson donated a piece called “The Guardian” to Austin residents that is now on display in Sparks’ office at the State Capitol. The piece will later be moved to the new office for the Austin Area Commission for the Arts.
Twin Cities-based muralist Jimmy Longoria also offered a piece to hang in Rep. Jeanne Poppe’s office in celebration of the festival. Longoria has led children in painting murals in the past two ArtWorks Festivals and will return in 2014.
Austin Area Commission for the Arts Executive Director Jennie Knoebel commended Sparks and Poppe for supporting the arts.
“It’s wonderful to have such supportive legislators in our area,” she said.
Anfinson, an award winning artist, paints full time in his Mockingbird Studio in Key West, Fla. The art will promote and raise awareness of the 2014 Austin ArtWorks Festival, an annual two-day celebration of the literary, visual and performing arts in Austin.
This year’s festival is scheduled for Aug. 23 and 24 at the Historic Downtown Power Plant, 501 Fourth Ave. NE, but volunteers are already looking at ways to involve downtown Austin in the festival.
That could mean even more ArtWorks Festival sites in 2015, and a potentially week-long festival, according to Knoebel.
Each year, the ArtWorks steering committee looks for new ways to expand and improve the festival. Some additions planned for 2014 include culinary arts, offering additional participatory activities, more children’s activities and classes/lectures and adding another gallery space. As planning continues, more information will follow.
Leaders are also looking to host a motorcycle event similar to Saturday’s Build Art Bike Show during ArtWorks, though it’s still in the planning phases. Knoebel said it could be split between downtown and the utilities building.
—Trey Mewes contributed to this report.