The weather was a work of art for the art fair Saturday and Sunday at Forestedge Winery in rural Laporte.
“It went very well,” winery owner Kristin Twait said. “We had over 3,000 people here. The vendors all stated that they were very pleased with how it went. The weather was beautiful. People seemed happy. They were enjoying the wine.”
Besides art works in every media from paints, pottery and jewelry to wood, glass, metal and fabric, the winery offered space for visitors to sip wine, munch on pizza, ice cream and roasted nuts, and listen to live music.
For artist Jeff Renner, who paints wildlife pictures in acrylics, it was his second time showing his work at the Forestedge art fair.
“It’s really a nice show,” he said. “I like the venue here. It’s just a mellow show, and there’s not too many artists here, so it’s perfect. I like it a lot.”
Renner, who has been painting for 20-30 years, is planning his own art show Sept. 13-15 at his home on Eagle Lake.
Another Park Rapids artist participating in the art fair was Liz Shaw, whose photography focuses mainly on swans. Displaying her work in formats ranging from greeting cards to mounted canvases and even metal prints, she has been coming to the Forestedge show for four or five years.
Shaw majored in photojournalism in college and worked for the Park Rapids Enterprise for 10 years, and also did photography work in Montana. She currently sells at juried art fairs in the area, and will be involved in the Art Leap during the last weekend of September.
Asked what turned her onto swans, Shaw said, “I have easy access to them because we live on Potato Lake. The water is open year ‘round there, and so the colder it gets, it seems like the more swans there are.”
Currently, Shaw is working on a series of pieces called “Mother Trees,” combining pictures of people with imagery related to forest root systems.
“I’d read an article in Smithsonian where they did a scientific study and discovered that a mother tree can find and distinguish her seedlings,” she explained. “So, during times of stress or drought, she can feed them through her root system – feed them gases or sugars, what they need to get through, like, a fire or a drought.”
Extrapolating this idea to the realm of humans, she said, “Mother trees around us are helping us all, lifting us up.”