Northwoods Art & Book Festival Brings In Authors and Artists Of All Kinds
The 23rd annual Northwoods Art and Book Festival saw its biggest turnout yet with more artists and authors in attendance than ever before.
“The Northwoods Art Council is a small organization. It’s a nonprofit, and we were able this year to get a Five Wings grant which was great to help with some of our publicity cost,” says Sue Ready, the president of the Northwoods Art Council.
Many vendors of the show have been coming since it began. Of course, there were also some newbies taking part in the fun this year. Organizers worked extra hard this year to recruit some of the most unique creatives to town.
Matt Swenson, the owner and founder of the Minnesota Art Truck, which works like a food truck but brings art to communities instead, says, “We want to expand it and really let people know how great art can be and that it might not just be an oil painting. You know, art can be funny sculptures made of old junk. Art can be pieces of glass that are used as stir sticks.”
The authors in attendance also spanned a wide variety of genres. For example, Jerry Holl was there to sign copies of his book about all the things he encountered during a bike ride from Alaska to Mexico called “Downhill Don’t Come Free.”
Holl says, “I peddled out of Alaska, solo and unsupported into the wilderness and I didn’t train for this. The way I looked at it was, ‘yeah, I haven’t trained for it specifically, but I’ll have plenty of time to get in shape along the way.’”
More than 90 vendors were a part of this year’s festival. For the authors, some say it’s a chance for them to interact with other book lovers like themselves.
“For me, it’s wonderful to be with a group of people who are literate. So interested in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. They’re readers! They’re great readers!” says Margaret Hasse, a poet and author of “Stars Above, Stars Below.”
For anyone hoping to be in the festival one day, registration opens up on January 1st. (You can find more information about the Northwoods Art Council here.) If you’re a book lover and want to attend, the event is always held on the second Saturday in August.
Ready adds, “Having a book festival is maybe a little bit unique and especially since there’s so many authors here that are taking their time. They drive – a lot of them are from the Twin Cities.”
About 50 to 100 volunteers from the Hackensack area also helped out with the event in some way.