Midsummer Festival of Arts features concerts, workshops

The John Michael Kohler Arts Center’s Midsummer Festival of the Arts returns to Sheboygan the weekend of July 19 and 20. The 135 exhibitors in this juried show come from across the country to display and sell their work. In addition to browsing artwork, visitors will enjoy six of the region’s finest musical acts, hands-on art workshops, and, of course, a wide variety of great local food.

During the weekend, catch the unveiling of the Culinary Art Car, a Connecting Communities project blending the art-car tradition, the commercial food truck, and the eat-local movement. Enjoy artist Robert Karimi’s performances with members of the community as he utilizes his cooking show character “Mero Cocinero” as the chef of the vehicle.

“Each summer, we look forward to the Midsummer Festival of the Arts,” said Amanda Salazar, coordinator of the festival. “Whether you are looking for one-of-a-kind art, live music, great food or fun activities for the family, this event really brings the Arts Center and its surroundings to life.”

The artworks filling the booths along the tree-lined streets surrounding the Arts Center present an astounding variety. Festivalgoers will encounter painting, photography, jewelry, sculpture, ceramics, art glass, fiber art and much more. Whether seeking an original work of art for display in a home or garden, or a special gift for a loved one, visitors are sure to find a treasure.

Six free concerts add to the weekend’s festivities. Included in this year’s lineup are Chicken Wire Empire, Herman Astro, De La Buena, Gill Family Singers, Daniel and the Lion, and Copper Box.

The Festival offers an opportunity for people to get their hands dirty and create their own works of art in a variety of drop-in workshops.

• SKY SCULPTURES-Create a 3-D Totem Sculpture by threading individual components of foam-core shapes onto a weighted doweled base. Embellish your creation with chenille sticks, colored tape, wire, beads and more. Explore all the possibilities…the sky is the limit!

• ADVENTUROUS VESSELS Be inspired by the slip-cast vessels as seen in the ARTS/INDUSTRY: COLLABORATION AND REVELATION exhibition. Squirt, roll and drip liquid watercolors on fired ceramic cast vessels and complete with oil pastel resists, stamps, and metallic paint. Be adventurous!

• CLAY PLAY-Roll up your sleeves and play with clay. Try wheel-throwing and hand-building techniques with Arts/Industry artists and art educators and see where this clay experience takes you.

The Arts Center’s galleries, the ARTcafe and the ARTspace shop are open during the event for visitors to enjoy. There is no charge to view Arts/Industry: Collaboration and Revelation, a retrospective exhibition celebrating 40 years of art created in a factory.

Midsummer Festival of the Arts runs Saturday, July 19, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, July 20, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Arts Center grounds. For event details, a list of artists, and performance schedules, visit jmkac.org.

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