For nearly every year since the 1980s, Minot's Taube Museum of Art has hosted a major fundraiser called "ArtFest." This year it is set for the FFA Hall at the All Seasons Arena.
The event is designed to showcase visual arts and artists throughout the region. The public is invited to browse, shop, and visit with the artists about their art.
This year the theme is "Moulin Rouge with Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec," recognizing one of the premier artists of the Western world.
Submitted Photo - - Patrons browse the artwork on display at last year’s ArtFest.
Submitted Photo - - “Santorini, Greece” by Darren Olson, one of the photographers on deck for the Taube Museum of Art’s upcoming “ArtFest,” showcasing regional artists. Olson, a Minot native, currently works in Minneapolis.
Submitted Photo - - Pieces by Montana ceramicist Penny Strommen.
Submitted Photo - - Piece by Towner artist Andrew Knudsen.
"Toulouse-Lautrec was one of the first graphic designers," said Taube executive director Nancy Walter. "He was a painter who painted advertisements, which is one reason he's associated with the Moulin Rouge, which was a kind of nightclub in Paris. He was also prolific, with over 6,500 pieces during his short 20-year career."
The event takes place over two days, with Friday being the Premiere Night, a ticket-only social event held on from 7 to 10 p.m. This is an elegant affair, with a rotation of musicians and dancers throughout the evening as well as cocktails and hors d'oeuvres with a decidedly French flair, including wine and crepes.
Tickets are $30 for non-members, $25 for members or $35 at the door. Tickets are available through ArtMain and Artistry or by calling 838-4445. Patrons must be 21 to attend.
Saturday children are welcome to the family event from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the same location in the All Seasons Arena. Cost is $2 per person, with children 10 and under free. While parents are shopping and visiting with the artists, children may participate in a Scavenger Hunt among the artists to find supplies to create their own Toulouse-Lautrec montage for just $1.
"We have a face painter, Heather Nielson, and lots of children's activities," Walter said. "There's live acoustic music from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and 31 artist's booths, with some of them doing demonstrations.
"There are a lot of new artists, like woodworkers from Minnesota, Bead Unique from Velva, and some photographers. Aaron Michel of Des Lacs will be setting up different backgrounds for pictures, and Wendy Kimble and Megan Laurencio will be set up to take photos with vintage props.
There is also a silent auction, and Walter is quick to point out that this is not just directed at higher-end consumers.
"We have original art for sale beginning at just $5," she said. "This is not mass-produced; each piece is hand-crafted. You can even watch the artist maybe making a similar piece on the spot."
Proceeds go to support the Taube's stated mission of "enriching lives through the visual arts."
"What we're trying to do, besides raising money for the museum, is spread the word about arts awareness," she said.