by Logan Gruber
Jim Poff is entering his third year at the Millstream Arts Festival and his first year of retirement.
Poff was a biology professor at the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University for a number of years.
“A lot of my students know me as a biology professor . . . it’s kind of fun to show them this side of me,” Poff said.
Poff’s art is both drawings and water-color paintings. One might wonder how biology plays into his artistry, but Poff taught a class on biological illustrations, which are used to demonstrate the anatomy of a living thing, distinguish between species and other uses.
While he has been drawing his whole life, he didn’t start painting until about 15 years ago. He said several pieces he will display at the festival this year will be influenced by his time chaperoning a study abroad trip to Greece and Italy in his final year at CSB/SJU.
Poff said he sees lots of alumni and students at the festival every year, but his favorite part of the festival is checking out the musicians, as well as the potters like Joel Cherrico.
“It’s fun to see people come back year after year, and see how they and their art change,” Poff said.
Poff tries to be in his booth for the entirety of the festival. He said, if someone makes a special trip there just to see him, he wouldn’t want to disappoint.
To see more of Jim Poff’s art, head to www.mnartists.org/user/8770.
To read other stories about artists who will be at the Millstream Arts Festival this year, see Jacobson’s spinning wheel by heading to www.thenewsleaders.net/2015/09/24/millstream-arts-festival-features-local-artists-jacobsons-spinning-wheel/, and see Zapf’s canoes by heading to www.thenewsleaders.net/2015/09/24/millstream-arts-festival-features-local-artists-zapf-canoes/.
Millstream Arts Festival in downtown St. Joseph is an outdoor art show which is held annually from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on the last Sunday in September, rain or shine. The festival always has a large array of visual art, music, dance, hands-on art activities for children and great food.
This year, 59 artists will be at the festival, including 17 new and 42 returning. St. Joseph has contributed three artists to the festival, including: Mary Bruno, printmaking; Joel Cherrico, ceramics; and Poff’s paintings/drawings.
Musicians will be on stage during the festival and additional performers will be in the street, including cloggers and street artists. Other activities include horse-drawn trolley rides, a children’s art area, history tours of Art and Heritage Place at St. Benedict’s Monastery and of the St. Joseph Area Historical Society along with a vintage car-and-tractor show.
For more information on the festival, head to www.millstreamartsfestival.org.