Annual event celebrates local artists

TaLeiza CallowayNews, St. JosephLeave a Comment

by TaLeiza Calloway

Jim Poff has been creating art through drawing and watercolors for about 12 years.

The St. Joseph resident showcased his work recently at the sixth annual Celebration of the Arts in Avon. The event is sponsored by the Avon Area Arts Association. This year was Poff’s first time participating in the event and he was glad he did.

“It’s a nice event,” Poff said. “There’s been a good crowd.”

Poff is also one of several artists who displays their work at the annual Millstream Festival in St. Joseph. He said he liked the interaction with festivalgoers in Avon as they were often surprised to learn just how much work goes into one piece of art.

The two-day event takes place on the Angel Fire Ranch in Avon, nestled in a wooded area with a view of a lake. As patrons entered the event area, they had the choice of stopping in one of three studio areas or journeying down a small hill to visit with more vendors, enjoy live music, concessions, art demonstrations and even take a picture with a yak. From photography and pottery to face-painting and murals, there was something for everyone.

There were 22 artists who participated in the event this year. They come from all over Central Minnesota, including the cities of St. Joseph, Richmond, St. Cloud, Avon and Waite Park.

For Donna Jarve of Sauk Rapids, the event was good enough to be a part of for a second year.

If you ask the watercolor artist how long she has been painting, she is quick to tell you she started when she was 4 years old. As an adult, that love of art still lingers.

Some of the work Jarve displayed at the event included scarves, fabric painting and framed artwork. To her, the event is a great way for artists to show what they can do.

“It’s great exposure,” Jarve said of the annual celebration. “It’s a great venue.”

Event chairwoman JoAnn Dirkes said attendance at the event grows a little bit more every year. That’s one of the event’s goals: to keep people coming and hopefully educate them about art.

And for the artist, the festival helps generate name recognition, Dirkes said.

“It’s a family event,” Dirkes said. “It’s to get people out enjoying art.”

For more information about the Avon Area Arts Association, visit

Author: TaLeiza Calloway

TaLeiza Calloway is a professional journalist in Central Minnesota. Her byline has appeared in the St. Cloud Times and Central Minnesota Women Magazine. The Ohio native moved to Minnesota about four years ago. She joined the St. Joseph Newsleader staff as a reporter in November 2011.

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