For Art’s Sake

Unique, handmade artwork will once again be featured at the Yankton Area Arts’ Summer Arts Festival, held during next weekend’s Riverboat Days.

The Yankton Area Arts Association’s (YAA) 34th annual Summer Arts Festival promises even more fine arts and crafts this year, and as always, something for everyone.

“We added 10 new artist spaces this year, because it’s so popular and we’ve had so many people apply for the festival. So we’ll have 177 spaces this year and about 30 new artists,” said YAA Executive Director Julie Amsberry.

This year the festival, which coincides with Riverboat Days Aug. 17-19, will feature artists from all over the region and from around the country, including: Texas, South Carolina, Oregon, Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Colorado, Wyoming, Tennessee, Missouri and Kansas.

According to festival guidelines, artists are to display and sell only original pieces that they handmade. “They are all one of a kind, they are unique, there won’t be two that look exactly alike,” Amsberry said.

Also, the collection of arts and crafts selected by YAA is meant to have the broadest appeal.

”There’s something for everybody,” Amsberry said. “There’s photography; there’s painting, pottery and metalwork; we have clothes; we have toys; dog treats; a gluten-free bakery; we have cheese and we have a wine slush maker; there’s somebody who is making her own makeup; soaps; lotions; potpourri. If you grill, there are tools that one of the artists is making for grills,

“There’s furniture, face painting, there’s a henna tattoo artist this year, home decor and lawn decor,” added Craig Sherman, the principal organizer of the festival. Sherman has had a hand in organizing the festival for the last 18 years, and has seen it grow by word of mouth to what it is today.

In addition to selling their wares, the artists will also be participating in a competition for best fine art and fine craft in the show. Local artists evaluate the works displayed at the festival based on quality, uniqueness, appearance and originality.

“We have judges that go in and judge for the fine arts and the fine crafts,” Amsberry said. “We have two categories, and in each category, we give a ‘best of show’ and an honorable mention. They each get a certificate and the best of show gets a free space at next year’s festival.”

Awards are usually given out around 1 p.m. Saturday, and are announced at the park and on social media.

“It’s going to be a fun weekend,” Amsberry said.

Hours for the Riverside Park festival are Friday from 6-8 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

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