Parents and children gather excitedly Saturday morning Sept. 2, 2017 at Jaycee’s Pavilion in Winona’s Lake Park for the tenth annual Family Art Day.
Sponsored by a grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council this event helps introduce children to a variety of art mediums that may not be available to them otherwise.
Winona’s River Arts Alliance board runs the event with help from Winona Parks and Recreation and the Winona State University Art Department.
With two years on the board under her belt, event coordinator Tove Wiggs said she was eager to help organize Family Art Day.
Wiggs said “Many people who volunteer are from the arts community, art supporters, a handful of WSU students and members of the River Arts Alliance board.”
“The River Arts Alliance has all sorts of different artists as members and friends of the organization,” Wiggs said. “I just really wanted to expand into some of the forms of art that are beyond 2D and 3D; into music, movements and poetry.”
With 23 art activities, around 30 artists, live music and food from Rubio’s, the event was busy from the start, with numbers close to the 550 people who participated in 2016 according to Wiggs.
The art stations included familiar arts like water color, pottery, finger painting and beading while adding more unique art mediums like movement arts, weaving, poetry, cosmic knots and wood carving with wire.
“I had a number of people that I ran into this week that told me they were really excited,” Wiggs said. “Their kids have been looking forward to this and asking about it.”
The Minnesota Marine Art Museum has participated in this event for 10 years.
This year, the museum introduced a type of art that included a small history lesson called cyanotype.
Cyanotype is photographic printing process that uses the sun to expose a special cyan paper to produce images of objects laid on top of the paper, some artists would use this medium to document plants along the Mississippi River.
“This isn’t just for kids, parents are doing activities too,” Wiggs said. “While this is primarily for children adults have just as much fun being here and trying things out too.”
During Family Art Day families can sit down with individuals who make their living as artists and learn from them.
Artists come from surrounding communities and sometimes from outside the state.
Like Sarah Johnson from La Crosse, Wisconsin is trained as a mental therapist and practices multi-media art as her hobby. She said she often uses art to aid in therapy.
“This is the first year I have been involved in this and I think it’s awesome,” Johnson said. “I’m loving watching the families creating art together, it’s really cool and makes me really proud of Winona.”
After hearing about the event from a friend, Johnson said she decided to become one of the artist volunteers.
“It’s right up my alley, I love are and love young people and seeing their creativity, anything that builds community I support.” Johnson said.