WAM Fest planned Aug. 3

New events include create your own fish decoy or wearable fabric art

WABENO, Wis. — Wabeno Art and Music Fest, also known as WAM Fest, is expanding its offerings to include a new component at this year’s annual art and music festival.

A Folk Art Market with free folk art workshops has been added to the full-day event Saturday, Aug. 3, in Wabeno.

There will still be all-day live music in the band shell, outdoor painting competitions, art for sale, arty activities for kids and wonderful food and drink offerings at the fifth annual event. Folk art market artists will also display and sell their art creations.

The two free folk art workshops are:

— Create your own fish decoy workshop by Brooks Big John of Lac du Flambeau. During the two-hour workshop, Big John will help each participant complete a painted fish decoy valued at $50. The workshop will be at 12:30 p.m. at Birchwood Inn, across the street from the American Legion Hall. Seating is limited to 10 people.

— Create fun and easy wearable art necklaces with mixed media techniques. Wabeno resident Colleen Ansbaugh, mixed media and fiber artist, will show quick and easy tips for gluing, applying paint and adding paper/cloth. Participants can learn about making color selections and explore combining various scale patterns to make pleasing surface designs. All ages and experience levels are welcome. The 90-minute workshop will be 2:30 p.m. at the Wabeno Logging Museum. Seating is limited to 15 people. Since space and supplies are limited, register on a first-come, first-serve basis by emailing mfbeck@charter.net or calling/texting 608-628-0757.

Mary Beck, chairwoman of the event is very excited for the new folk art emphasis this year.

“WAM Fest is excited to share how the creative process was so much a part of life in the early days.” The folk artists at WAM Fest are keeping traditional skills alive and we welcome everyone to come and meet the artists,” she said.

Additional folk artists include: Irene Tischler, storytelling; Anna Borntreger, Amish quilting; Ken Weinborn, birch bark baskets; Jim Szucs, wood; The Teaching Drum Outdoor School, nature healing and fire by friction; Dennis White, finger weaving; Blanch Mcnulty, crocheted rag rugs; The Vibekeelisabeth Jewelry Co., Danish jewelry; Edith Huettle, loomed rugs; Tom Moore, carved walking sticks; and Karen Ann Hoffman, Iroquois Raised Beadwork.

New and returning musical artists performing on the band shell include: Unwound, Living Room, Heather Styka, Jeff Brown, Cheri and Paul, John Staney, Gregg Tallier, Woodland Sky hoop dancers and Kinsella Irish Dancers.

At 8 p.m., Conscious Pilot performs on the band shell; band players come from Wisconsin’s elite ensembles that include: The Groove Hogs, Separate Ways and Short Stuff, 2017 WAMI Hall of Fame inductee). A full schedule will be posted on the event website.

Plein Air, a live outdoor painting competition, is open for both emerging and seasoned artists in two categories and purse awards. Artists select a landscape, downtown building or other outdoor nearby location; where they paint and visitors can view the action.

The painting begins any time between 8 and 10 a.m. and runs until 2 p.m., then their art will be available for sale until 5 p.m.

For details and registration: https://wabenoartandmusicfest.files.wordpress.com/2019/03/pleinaircompetition2019-2.pdf

Children and young artists can create their artwork from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the kid’s area by the Logging Museum. Free art supplies will be provided along with chalk art and face painting.

An art walk at 11:45 a.m. will kick off this year’s WAM Fest. Featured artist is Chad Forrest of Mountain, Wis. who has a photography and fine art design business. Forrest created this year’s event poster.

The event has a 50-50 raffle and traditional and unique food and drink offerings.

WAM Fest is sponsored by: Friends of Wabeno Arts Board, The national endowment for the Arts, Forest County Tourism Commission, WXPR Public Radio and many local businesses. For more information, go to https://wabenoartandmusicfest.org/.

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