Art in the Village a success
When she first began as the Art in the Village Coordinator five years ago, Lynsi Pasutti said it was hard for her to picture how the event would be set up at the Guthrie County Historical Village in Panora. But with tents lined up in front of the log house, art surrounded by history and nature, food set up at the train depot and the post office porch transformed into a stage, Pasutti said that everything has fallen into place.
“It is such a unique event in the area with such great, quality artists coming together for one day,” Pasutti said. “It is just fantastic and one-of-a-kind for Panora, Guthrie County, and really Iowa.”
The Guthrie County Arts Council held the 6th annual Art in the Village on Saturday, June 3 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Artists showcased painting, drawing, photography, glass jewelry, wood sculptures, t-shirts and more. In total, 16 different artists attended the event. The art show also featured live music from five different musicians, including Nancita Wernett, Mason Jar, Dale Menning & the Stardusters, Annie Kemble and Brick Imerman.
“There are a lot of art shows around, but this one really has a unique feel amidst the Historical Village, with all the buildings open, live music, artists spread out throughout and some giving demonstrations,” Pasutti said. “It is just really special.”
To have a booth at the event, vendors have to be juried and selected. Pasutti said some vendors are put off by the jurying, but she feels it necessary to ensure that the event showcases quality art. Pasutti also argues that jurying the submissions prevents all of the artists from selling the same thing, giving the event a variety to chose from.
Several artists gave live demonstrations of how their art was made. University of Northern Iowa student Hailey Gross gave live spray paint demonstrations at her booth, explaining to kids and parents alike how to create space art from spray paint. People gathered around to watch Sheri Heiland of Guthrie Center spin clay to make pottery, and later in the day, watchers shielded their eyes from sawdust as Andy Klindt gave a live demonstration of chainsaw woodworking.
Pasutti said some artists at the event were new while some had operated a booth in past years. Pasutti, a ceramic artist herself, believes that Art in the Village gives artists a chance to meet each other and make friends and connections.
Artists came from Guthrie Center, Panora, Des Moines, Atlantic, Linden, Manning, Malvern, Yale and Dexter to showcase their work at the art show.
The Guthrie County Arts Council also sold food and drinks all day at the event. Attendants could buy pulled pork sandwiches, hot dogs, chips, bars, cinnamon rolls, pasta salad, pop and water.
The event, also sponsored in part by the Panora Chamber of Commerce, also partnered with the Panora Lions Club this year as they hosted the Let’s Beat Lewy Body ride in conjunction with the event.
“I think it’s quite an accomplishment when another group shows their support in what you’re doing, wanting to help in some way, as well as having them identify Art in the Village as an already successful event,” Pasutti said. “I think they were pleased with their modest turnout for the first year, knowing they were successful in building awareness.”
The Panora Lions Club served homemade ice cream from 1-3 that afternoon and Pasutti said everyone raved about the cool dessert.
Pasutti said it’s hard to judge how many people attend the event each year with several entrances into the Village.
“I believe most of our artists were pleased by the outcome of the day, enjoying the music and atmosphere, having good sales, and calling it successful,” she said.