Young people and teenagers wanted for the Driftless Area Art Festival | News

Teachers from across the Driftless area are invited to exhibit their students’ work and are reminded of the May 27 deadline for KidsArt Gallery entries on September 17-18 as part of the Driftless Area Art Festival in Soldiers Grove. They will be part of a weekend that celebrates and promotes the talents of visual, performing and culinary artists from the Driftless Area, which encompasses southwestern Wisconsin and areas of southeastern Minnesota, northeastern Iowa and northwestern Illinois.

Continuing a decade-long tradition, professional artists will award three Blue Ribbon winners, one for K-2, one for 3-5 and one for 6-8. A 3D artwork will also be selected. The four pieces from the latest art festival will be auctioned live in 2022 and the proceeds will be donated to art programs at schools for young artists, along with a framed copy of the piece already donated to the respective young artist.

As the festival was canceled in 2020 and 2021, works from 2019 will be sold this year at the spring gala on June 2. Pieces by Flynn Mendygral from the Kickapoo school in Viola will be presented; Felicity Mitchell of St. Charles School in Genoa; Emma Schmidt of North Crawford at Gays Mills; and Perpetua Mitchell of St. Charles in Genoa. Festival and ticket information for the gala, which will be held at the Gays Mills Community Commerce Center, is available on the Driftless Area Art Festival website.

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Additionally, the Teen Art Gallery and Exhibition annually showcases the works of young artists between the ages of 13 and 19. Teen artists can apply individually or through their school, and the deadline is September 7. to be presented as an experienced artist,” said Jane Holzhauer, coordinator of the festival’s Youth Art Tent, which houses both exhibits.

“Over 5,000 people have attended every weekend for the past few years, from across the Driftless region, and one of the favorite features of this large audience is the ability to see and appreciate the work of young artists,” she added. There is no admission fee and all submitted artwork will be on display throughout the weekend.

Jurors of professional artists will select teen artwork for special recognition:

Best in Show – with $75 cash prize, blue ribbon and art supplies; second prize – with a $50 scholarship and a red ribbon; third prize – $25 in cash and a white ribbon. Three ribbons of excellence will also be awarded.

Teachers and individual teen artists can find detailed information about the art festival, as well as application materials, on the Youth Art tab of the website. For further assistance, contact

Festival-goers will find 80 professional visual artists, five performing arts groups, a variety of culinary artists and a hundred community volunteers ready to make the weekend memorable. They will also find free admission and ample free and convenient parking as part of Soldiers Grove’s Beauford T. Anderson Park.

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Reggie S. Williams