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Coeur d’Alene celebrates 50 years of creativity at Art on the Green

Artists, musicians and art aficionado’s gathered on the North Idaho Campus Friday to kick off the first day of the 50th annual Art on the Green festival.

Art on the Green volunteer coordinator Jolie Bazler said more people attended the first day, and were more relaxed while they were there, than has been the case in the past. She said it might be because it’s the event’s 50th anniversary, or the milder-than-average weather.

“If it’s hot, People want to get in and get out,” Bazler said. “But weather like this, people stay longer than they intended.”

Outside of the hundreds of artists, craftsmen and performances clustered between the University of Idaho Campus and Lake Coeur d’Alene, Bazler said there were participatory events as well, such as the mayor reading an artistic picture book for children, butterfly wingmaking projects and a variety of art classes.

Many artists use different types of materials and paint in their work to create multi-dimensional art. Judy Minter said in her art, she uses several layers of material, such as poxy clay, to form a human face, which she molds off of someone she knows. She then applies a faux finish or acrylic pour to create the background. One example of the art she had on display was a stony-textured face that appeared to be emerging from a flat canvas.

“They’re very elegant,” she said. “They have a mystical element to them.”

Fortune Sitole, who also uses layers of material in his art, said he sold his first piece when he was 12. Sitole, who was raised in Capetown, South Africa, said he used a variety of materials to create toys when he was little and was often in competition with other young artists. The first piece he sold was a toy car he crafted from an aluminum soda can. He said he has now been creating art for 32 years.

In Sitole’s more recent art, he layers sand, rocks and oil paints to create an earth-toned backdrop. The communities he depicts in his paintings are formed with aluminum and other materials, creating a colorful, textured and dimensional image.

Art on the Green will continue into Saturday and Sunday with musical performances scheduled throughout the day as well as activities for children.

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