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Boardwalk Art Festival features local artists, artisans

The Boardwalk Art Festival featured over 20 local artists with work on display and for sale.1 / 2
Frank and Brenda Stuemke of Osage display some of their custom repurposed barnwood and corrugated tin work from The Rusty Barn Owl during Saturday’s Dorset Boardwalk Art Festival.2 / 2

The Dorset Boardwalk Art Festival held Saturday is intended to give local artists and artisans a place to display and sell their work.

"That’s what this is all about, the local artists," said Julie Kvitney at her store Meadowbrook. "The way people of Dorset embrace and support this little town is great to see. "It’s become a destination location."

Julie and husband Bob own multiple businesses in town and are active in the Dorset Business Association. The Boardwalk Art Festival is another draw for visitors to town.

"People come and shop and eat and stay at the bed and breakfast," Julie said. "The bike trail running through town helps immensely. Dorset is a hidden jewel of Middle America."

The Kvitneys arrived in Dorset five years ago on Father’s Day, somewhat by chance, and have since opened the specialty shop Meadowbrook, Outlaw Garage next door and another store next to that. Last year, they bought the 226 Diner. All the retail and dining places in town were at the center of Saturday’s activity.

The event featured over 20 local artists and artisans, along with food vendors, live music, book signings and children’s activities.

Frank and Brenda Stuemke of Osage had a variety of their work made from repurposed barn wood and corrugated tin on display. Frank travels the region for his full-time job and has found his niche making furniture, signs and collectibles with a lake and cabin theme. One of their best sellers is decorative fishing bobbers made from the reclaimed barnwood. Other popular items include flags and other patriotic creations, as well as a unique owl using wood, corrugated tin and parts of a John Deere tractor hood.

Frank and Brenda call their business The Rusty Barn Owl.

"We love it," Frank said of taking part in the Boardwalk Art Festival. "We love bringing authenticity of a barn falling down into someone’s home. I know what barn everything comes from. Every piece has its story."