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Art Benefits Marine on St. Croix Fire and Rescue Department

Marine on St. Croix held its annual Art Festival Saturday, Sept. 21 & 22 to benefit the Marine on St. Croix Fire and Rescue Department. This year’s booth fees, around $20,000 from the 90 plus artists, have been earmarked towards a fund dedicated to purchasing a new fire truck.

This weekend show featured carefully juried craftsmen, artisans, potters, sculptors, jewelers, photographers, and painters. Picturesque downtown Marine on St. Croix hosted the colorfully filled booths amid the fall-tinted trees from 10 am to 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday.

 

The Fire and Rescue Department’s fire truck fund has benefited from this event for the past 20 years. During the Art Show, firemen opened doors wide to showcase well-polished current trucks and equipment that invited closer public inspection.

Food vendors scented the air with mouth-watering goodies including specialty coffees, deep-fried cheese curds, and caramel corn. The venders included Kettle Creek Kitchen, Mr. Kettle Corn, Grill and Ladle, Nuttin’ Like it, Road Runner, and the local Lions Club. Dedicated children’s events made it more of a family festival. There were mural paintings, a children’s dance, and birdhouse decorating.

 

Saturday’s spotty showers culled the number of attendants slightly, according to several of the artists.  “It’s been a bit slower this Saturday,” said long time vendor Tom Sack. A 10-year show veteran, Sack plasma cuts metal yard art silhouettes of animals, birds, fish, and people such as golfers and hunters, even sasquatches. Some pieces have glass eyes, while others are mounted on a specially chosen type of Minnesota limestone.

 

Liking to sketch as a child, Sack’s talent developed as he grew. Then he made a silhouette as a favor for a friend. Word got around. Soon there were several more requests. Things took off and he’s never looked back. He does all the plasma cutting of the sculptures himself. “I don’t know how long each one takes, it’s a process,” he said.

The more whimsical pieces he claims were inspired by his brother, Steve Sack, Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist at the Minneapolis Star Tribune Newspaper. Tom featured some of Steve’s cartoons and artwork prints among the sculptures. “He’s a frickin’ genius,” said Tom, obviously proud of his famous brother. It was also obvious from the items displayed that both brothers are very talented.

 

“Tomorrow’s weather should be better,” said Isaac Theobald, a glass artist, seated in his booth chatting with his friend, Tiger. Originally a chemistry student at Anoka Ramsey Community College, Theobald took Glass blowing as an elective and got hooked.

 

He discovered this show two years ago by word-of-mouth while helping at a fellow glass blower’s studio. Theobald’s booth is filled with colorful, delicate pieces of blown glass, smooth surfaces enclosing exquisite lines of twining colors. His favorite piece is a clear glass goblet with intricately strung handles resembling an old challis. He says he relies on his friend Tiger for extra input because he’s color blind. Tiger helps Theobald choose which colors blend well. He says enjoys this show and talking to people about his work. “Yes, this is a good show. Tomorrow will be better,” Theobald said.

 

Sunday’s better weather inspired the buying public. Approximately $20,000 was donated to the fire truck fund by the event organizers. The Marine on St. Croix Art Show takes part in the ArtReach St. Croix program, which promotes art fairs in the St. Croix River Valley area. More information about this show and other art shows in the upcoming weeks can be found at https://www.artreachstcroix.org.

Hard News Assignment – 

This article covers the Marine on St. Croix Art Festival for an imaginary newspaper. Both interviewees gave their permission to quote them.

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