Family fun at Art by the River Saturday, June 9

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A full day of exhibiting artists, workshops for youth and adults, live music and food will be held in Ingleside Park on Saturday, June 9. The event is organized by Guttenberg Gallery & Creativity Center. (Press photo by Molly Moser)

By Molly Moser

Guttenberg Gallery and Creativity Center presents its second annual Art by the River Fine Art Festival and Workshop on Saturday, June 9, at Ingleside Park in Guttenberg. The free event will showcase the work of more than 20 area artists and will offer workshops, live music and food all day long. Billboards, television and radio ads have been visible throughout the month of May, and organizers expect a good turn out on Saturday.

The weekend begins with the June 8 performance of Friends of Backbone Bluegrass as part of the River of Music Concert Series coordinated by Umbrella Arts. The musicians will play from 6-8 p.m. in the band shelter north of Clayton Ridge Elementary.

Kicking off the art festival on June 9 is a free yoga class in the park at 8 a.m., taught by long-time instructor Caroline Rosacker. The class is for all levels and will emphasize a colorful practice.

White tents will line the sidewalk along the Mississippi River as artists from around the region display their work from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Selected artists will also offer demonstrations throughout the day.

Exhibiting artists are expected from the Guttenberg area as well as from Ankeny, Dubuque, Solon, Elkader, St. Olaf, Mt. Vernon, Vinton and Harpers Ferry; Winter, Wis., Glen Haven, Wis., Galena, Ill., and St. Charles, Ill. These include painters, photographers, jewelers, ceramic artists, sculptors, glass blowers, basket weavers, and mixed media artists. One artist will also offer temporary Henna tattoos in her tent. Over 20 artists will display their work throughout the day; 12 are brand new to the festival.

“Art by the River Fine Art Festival & Workshop is not your average art fair. We want you to experience fine art with your eyes, and create it with your hands! That's why we offer a full day of youth art activities and adult workshops at no charge thanks to our generous sponsors, Umbrella Arts, Alpine Communications, The Guttenberg Motel, Fidelity Bank & Trust and Travel Iowa," said Guttenberg Gallery and Creativity Center Director Cindy Olsen.

Youth art activities will be offered at no cost from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the pavilion. The Iowa State Extension office is also expected to attend the event with more activities for youth and families. Workshops for adults include 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. wheel pottery demonstrations led by Guttenberg Gallery and Creativity Center’s house potter, Steve Solomon. Solomon will throw a pot on the wheel and will then let participants spend a few minutes trying their own hands at the art form.

At 10 a.m., Rabecca Hennessey of Bent Willow Studio and Gallery will lead a hot air balloon-themed finger painting workshop for beginners. This course is part of her popular Paint it Forward series, with proceeds to benefit Guttenberg Gallery and Creativity Center’s 2018-19 after school art program. Please register in advance for this workshop at

Exhibiting artist Andrew Wroble will share his process with participants in his 1 p.m. inkwash workshop, which is offered at no cost on a first-come, first-serve basis. Wroble’s works are currently on display at Guttenberg Gallery and Creativity Center.

The 2 p.m. workshop will allow participants to create their own necklace using iconic Guttenberg shells from the button factory, as evidenced by the circular holes where buttons were punched out during the factory’s working years.

Live music starts at 9 a.m. with Bruce Bryant as Carpe Diem, followed by vocals and keys by Sophia Landis from 12 noon to 2 p.m. Musician and storyteller Mark Armstrong will entertain audiences from 2-4 p.m.

Kaffee 1858 and Public House of Guttenberg will bring a local twist to the food offered at the event. Brainfreezers Sno Cones are back by popular demand with dozens of refreshing flavors of shaved ice. Lumpia Shanghai will serve lumpia, crab rangoons, sesame chicken, orange chicken, teriyaki on a stick and bubble tea.

Art by the River Fine Art Festival & Workshop is provided at no charge to attendees thanks to sponsors Alpine Communications, Fidelity Bank & Trust, The Guttenberg Motel, Travel Iowa and Umbrella Arts, as well as hospitality sponsors Eagle Ridge Independent & Assisted Living and Kaffee 1858.

“We have a wonderful day of arts entertainment planned for June 9, showcasing the talent of artists and musicians in our area,” said Olsen. “It’s an amazing event not to be missed!”

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