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Riverbank Art Fair returns

BY SAMANTHA GENTRY | APRIL 28, 2011 7:20 AM

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A black-and-white photo featuring creative structures sits next a print highlighting an evergreen tree surrounded by a field of tall grass and purple daffodils. These pictures are just a few of University of Iowa junior Barbara Staudt’s work that will be on display at the RiverBank Art Fair.

“I’m hoping to see some prints,” she said. “But I’m mostly excited to see how the art fair works and seeing what other work is out there.”

This year, Staudt will be joined by two fellow art students and more than 50 artists from all over the Midwest who will sell their work in the show at 10 a.m. Saturday on the Hancher Green. Admission is free.

In addition to the art work, numerous wine distributors will be at the fair, including some from California wineries, to provide free samples and cheese. A university catering adviser will not let people under the age of 21 in the wine tent.

While the event is free, the Fine Arts Council encourages everyone to make a $5 donation that will go to the Fine Arts Council Scholarship and the Japan earthquake and tsunami relief fund.

Raquel Case, the logistics director for the council, is in charge of the small details and talking to administrators at the university. For this year’s fair, the UI senior added the wine-tasting element.

“We felt that, historically, art in general goes hand in hand with wine,” she said. “We thought it would be fantastic to pair it with because it’s an outdoor event, a spring show, and we just wanted to add something that would add class to the event.”

Clay, painting, jewelry, metal work, photography, wood, and printmaking are just a few of the media that will be presented. The pieces will be for sale at prices determined by the creator.

“All the artists will bring hundreds of pieces of work, because they want to sell as much as they possibly can,” said Makinze Meiners, the director of the Fine Arts Council.

She is also part of a jury, along with the other council members, an art adviser, and four volunteers, who chose the artists.

The artists submit three slides of their work to the jury. The council members look for originality, creativity, and how well the piece is put together.

The only stipulation is that it cannot be a craft item, which would include dolls, quilts, or anything along those lines. Works must have a fine-arts quality, Meiners said.

“We look for artists with really interesting things and who take pride in their artwork,” Case said. “We are also looking for really new, innovative artwork and are always looking for new talents.”


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