GSR Fine Arts Festival brings together local artists

GSR Fine Arts Festival brings together local artists

MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - The Gold Smith Fine Arts Festival wrapped up this weekend with local artists showcasing and selling their handcrafted work.

With the holidays coming up it was the perfect time to browse local art. The festival gives people the opportunity to talk to artists about their craft and what inspires their work.

“It’s our 17th year. We are finishing up a wonderful run of over 50 artists, eight or 10 authors and lots of live music," said festival Co-director Tom Bliese.

The festival began years ago, with an idea to showcase goldsmith’s work.

“Patty Conlin who is a well–known jeweler, took me in as an apprentice. The first year I started my business I wanted to come home and do an art show and kind of say,hey look what I’ve been up to...and there wasn’t an art show to do that with. So we kinda looked at each other and thought. We’ll create something," said Co-director Sacha Bliese.

That idea has now grown into a festival bringing in all forms of art, from photography to paintings, jewelry, blown glass and more.

Some artists have been returning for years while for some it’s their first time, like for artist Ashley Siehler.

“I started illustrating characters in my head in high school just the stories that I had going I kinda wanted to bring them to life," said Siehler.

On the other hand it’s year 6 for clay artist Kevin Caufield, who’s been throwing clay for 47 years. He pointed out one of his projects, that used 80 pounds of clay.

“It’s very physical you know they don’t always work out. But they are so much fun to do," Caufield remarked.

Organizers say, the goal of the GSR is to continue expanding, encouraging more artists to attend in years to come.

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