Thank you Austin for another Austin ArtWorks Festival

Published 6:09 am Saturday, August 31, 2019

Thank you, Austin.

Thank you for helping Austin Area Arts celebrate the literary, performing and visual arts at the eighth annual Austin ArtWorks Festival last weekend.

Thank you to the 145 artists who shared your talents with singing, writing, blowing glass, making music, painting, poetry, sculpture, knitting, drawing and more. Austin’s student artists brought their art to exhibit at the Spam Museum. Other local art-makers showed off their creativity in the sidewalk chalk contest, Brush the Beetle and String Box Shanty.

Thank you to the downtown businesses for stepping up with extra staff, special Sunday hours and a new option to take adult beverages out on the festival grounds. Thanks to those who live and work downtown for graciously welcoming thousands of visitors to your neighborhood and parking spaces.

Thank you to Mower County, the City of Austin, Sweet Reads, the Hormel Historic Home and the Spam Musuem for lending space to the event. Thank you Discover Austin for spreading the word about our event across southeast Minnesota and to the families visiting Austin for the bike race, corvette tour and class reunions last weekend. Thank you Austin Utilities for sharing expertise, security service and year-round storage.

Folks put on 12 arts events during ArtWorks Festival Week. More folks attended those events. Folks invited their out-of-town family and friends to visit for the weekend. More folks showed up to keep the hotels and restaurants clean and hospitable. Folks bought a ticket to go see Max Weinberg’s Jukebox at the Paramount. More folks volunteered to be ushers, pour drinks and sell concessions at the show.

Volunteers are the lifeblood of the Austin ArtWorks Festival. Hundreds of volunteers gave their time and talent to make this event happen. Some moved tables, chairs, picnic benches and pieces of artwork. Some curated two days of musical offerings on two stages. Some filled buckets with paint and helped kids wash their hands. Some provided breaks for exhibiting artists to leave their booth and grab a snack. Other served the snacks. Some handed out programs and welcomed visitors. Others restocked restrooms and swept floors. Some set out garbage cans all over the grounds and others emptied them later. All these contributions united to create a successful event and we are grateful for each person’s work.

Special thanks to our leadership team, volunteers themselves. Bonnie Rietz and Mary Anne Wolesky are co-chairs of the event. These two ladies make it possible for all of these contributions to work together and create an event that benefits artists, art-lovers, residents and business owners. Some create master works with paint and brushes. These two ladies create master works with committee meetings, check lists, wise decisions, appreciative words and vast amounts of energy. Thank you, Bonnie and Mary Anne.

Thank you, Austin. See you next year at the festival.


Paramount Theatre

•Sept. 4: “It Happened One Night, 3 and 7:30 p.m.

•Sept. 11: “Beetlejuice,” 3 and 7:30 p.m.

•Sept. 18: Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds,”  3 and 7:30 p.m.

•Sept. 25: Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho”  3 and 7:30 p.m.

Austin ArtWorks Center

•Sept. 7: Spanish $5 Kids Studio: Grandparents Day house sign at 10:30 a.m.

•Sept. 10: Beginner Embroidery “Foxy Night” with Hedra Bishop, 6 p.m.

•Sept. 12, 26: Basic Wheel Throwing (Clay) with John Sullivan, 5:30 p.m.

•Sept. 13: Free Gallery Opening Reception: Mary Nordeng and Jamie Kouba, 5-7 p.m.

•Sept. 14: $5 Kids Studio: Mermaid painting on canvas, 10:30 a.m.

•Sept. 14: Free Family Art Studio, 1-3 p.m.

•Sept. 20: Free ArtRocks Open Jam, 7-9 p.m.

•Sept. 21: $5 Kids Studio: Coil Pencil Holder (clay), 10:30 a.m.

•Sept. 26: Fall Leaves: a series of two paintings with Katie Stromlund, 6 p.m.

•Sept. 28: Spanish $5 Kids Studio: Upcycled Containers at 10:30 a.m.

More information is available at austinareaarts.org.