Summer is a busy time chock-full of things to do and events to attend. Summertime is also a busy time for artists who take advantage of the long days, sunny skies, and outdoor art festivals and fairs in which to display their wares. Some artists travel far while others are content to stay in the near vicinity – Browne’s Addition, North Side, South Side, Arbor Crest, even Coeur d’Alene and, added to the list this year, Millwood.
Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., more than a dozen artists will converge in a gravel lot behind the Millwood Gallery, 9009 E. Euclid, for the first annual Millwood Artfest. “When I rented the gallery space I immediately locked in on the area out back,” said artist and Millwood Gallery owner Teresa Peluso-Antosyn.
“My gallery is small and I wanted more artists to have a venue to display their work. This is just the beginning. Next year I hope to utilize the area for fundraisers and to continue promoting artists that I have no room for in my little gallery. It has been extremely hard to put it all together as working the gallery alone leaves little time and I have a small amount of funds to promote. I struggled with getting artists who work in different mediums, as there are so many artists doing the same thing.”
Peluso-Antosyn opened the gallery in May and is a musician and an artist, specializing in fused and stained glass which she will showcase at the event. Painters Loretta West, Pamee Hohner and Debra Blahuczyn will be sharing their newest works, as well as photographers Pat Schillings, Stuart Aller and Jeff Kent.
There will also be an array of multimedia artists. Shanda Woodward’s “steam punk” handcrafted treasures are built of reclaimed items fixed onto the lids of unique vessels, onto mirrors and picture frames. Her art form began with shells and driftwood in her youth and really came to fruition when she inherited her grandmother’s button box.
Wood craftsman Dennis Kruger builds furniture, cutting boards and serving platters out of exotic hard and soft woods. There will be many styles of jewelry – from hemp to strung beads. Christy Butler will be showing her hand-built necklaces, bracelets and earrings of silver, bronze, brass, copper and natural stones, and Mike Scott will be bringing his pieces that include interesting clay pendants with the addition of porcupine quills. Both artists mention that no two pieces are the same.
Raku artist Kay Cory will be in attendance as well as potters Sean and Amanda Benson. There will also be metal garden flowers and probably a few surprises as many of the artists are sharing their work with the public for the first time and “firsts” generally include surprises or at least the unexpected.
“I am sure that my artfest is extremely small compared to other artfests, as I have a small space, but most start out that way,” Peluso-Antosyn said, adding that she is counting on the artists to share their ideas for future events.
“I am slowly learning … I am hoping that by next year it won’t be such a struggle.”