Quaint, personal and diverse — what an art show should be
Meet five of the artists taking part in this year’s Incline Village Fine Art Festival, Aug. 9-11
Over the last seven years, the Incline Village Fine Art Festival has become a place where families stroll, art enthusiasts gather and artists from wide varying mediums come together to share their creative passions.
This is an art show where you can see artists painting in their booths or describing the stories behind their various works.
“We’re a small art show with a lot of great artists. Sometimes you’ll see art shows with thousands of people walking around. This is not that,” said Curtis Beck, founder and producer of CWB Events, which produces the Incline Arts Festival. “I want it to be very low key where there’s time to talk to the artists, and you’re never waiting in line to talk or to buy things.
This personal interaction makes it more interesting for those who buy pieces at the show. When you have the piece at home and you know the story about how it was created because you’ve met the artist, Beck said it adds something really special to the relationship with that work of art.
‘What an art show should be’
Beck takes great pride in the way his festival is organized. He strives to ensure that each artist’s booth is set up like a miniature gallery, creating an enjoyable experience for attendees and artists alike. A few years ago, he heard one woman remark that “this is what an art show should be” as she walked through.
“That’s what I aim to create year after year,” he said.
It’s free to attend the show and peruse the pieces at each booth. You can find items in all price ranges, from as little as $10, up to and including world-class works of art on the more expensive end. The show’s record sale was a couple of years ago when a sculpture sold for $34,000.
The bulk of the show is a balanced mix of paintings and sculptures, with jewelry, photography, wood and ceramics being well represented. There’s free parking and admission during the three-day event, which this year runs Aug. 9-11, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.
The selection of artists is highly curated to provide a well-rounded experience. Here’s a look at five of the artists — out of more than 30 — who will be presenting at this year’s festival.
Shari Milner, Jewelry
Shari Milner lives on the coast and walks the beach daily. This often inspires the pretty and soft pieces she designs.
“I have created a collection for women who simply like feminine and pretty pieces to wear. I use pearls and semi-precious stones and both silver and gold (plated with Rhodium), for sophisticated or sometimes whimsical settings,” she said.
Milner stays away from trendy looks and instead designs with her own personal style, which leans toward softer and more graceful pieces.
“I love this festival — it’s such a pretty area of the country, it is on grass — so not some hot asphalt — and the people are exceptional,” Milner said of the Incline Village Fine Art Festival.
Dirk Yuricich, Photography
Dirk Yuricich has a love for travel and languages. He’s lived and studied abroad, exploring the world and its cultures. He speaks several languages and has worked as a translator. Photography, he said, is another language from which to share and communicate ideas.
His pieces are often in a semi-abstract form, highlighting tone and texture.
“I try to remove my work from being so literal, or documentary in style, which seems to be the common assumption of what photography is — that it’s a tool to copy or reproduce exactly, like a Xerox Copy machine,” he said. “I see the camera more as a tool for capturing reflected light, much as my father’s paint brushes were his tools for applying paints that held pigments of captured reflected light.”
Marta Collings, Painting
Marta Collings started painting at an early age in grade school. She had teachers who gave her projects like illustrating posters for school functions, giving her the confidence to keep painting and doing what she loves.
“I went on to college earning extra money to pay my bills by painting children and animal portraits at local fairs,” she said.
Her most recent works have been palette knife pieces.
“I mix and paint entirely with the knife. I go through a lot of paint but I love the end result of the rich texture and the impressionist look,” she said. “Painting is a continual learning process that I embrace, and love being constantly challenged.”
Her most recent work is “Summer Shadows,” a large 60 x 40 gallery wrap canvas of a summer vineyard with lots of light and texture.
“I love coming to the Incline Village show because it is a smaller and more intimate venue,” she said. “The people are great and once in a while we get bears and other wildlife that seem to be art lovers, too!”
Wendy Hudnall, Photography
A love of nature has inspired Wendy Hudnall’s work as a landscape photographer. She said much for words when she was younger, so photography was a way for her to communicate visually.
Her images are often dramatic and surreal because she lengthens exposures to create interesting contrasts in color, light and texture.
“Landscape and nature photography, for me, is a combination of vision, planning and just plain old fashioned luck. There are times when I have an image in my head that I want to create, I set about planning to capture that image and the conditions work out perfectly and magic happens. More often than not, Mother Nature isn’t so inclined and things don’t work out,” Hudnall said. “The wonderful part about those times is I’m still out in nature, feeling it, living it. There’s no down side. Once in a while the universe aligns and I’m in the right place at the right time and am lucky enough to capture something spectacular. The common thread in all of it is consistently putting myself out there regardless of the end result. For me, again, it’s the experience that matters.”
Jess Drake, Ceramics
Jess Drake has been developing his relationship with clay since the 1970s when he started making ceramics. In that time, he’s learned that if he tells the clay to do something, it rarely does what he wants.
“Relationships do require lots and lots of work. I prefer ceramics over other media because I can express myself more completely with the tractability and closeness that clay provides,” Drake said. “I love the bonding of science and art that ceramics lets me enjoy and that there is an infinitely beautiful place where they meet.”
Drake does hand thrown and sculpted high fire porcelain — and he does his own my own chemistry for glazing and will use whatever glaze technique that works for the piece. He works extensively with crystal glazes, but doesn’t limit himself to this technique.
“The process starts with me looking at a blob of clay. It tells me what it wants to be. Sometimes we fight, then we compromise and I end up with a form,” Drake said. “It dries for a week then I bisque fire the form. Then I try and find the best glaze for the form (this part takes the most time). I then do the chemistry and hope that my concept and the finished glaze dance together. If not, I repeat this step as many times as needed. Some pieces take a total of eight or nine firings to get what I am looking for. One of my favorite things about crystal glazes is that they never come out the same. This fact frustrates many artisans. When they do come out they are unique and beautiful. “
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