Marquette’s Mattson Lower Harbor Park will once again be hosting the annual Art on the Rocks arts and crafts festival on July 26th and 27th. In its 56th year, the fair will be showcasing more than 175 nationally renowned artists and estimated to draw crowds of over 10,000!
The first show was held in 1958, originally taking place next to the statue of Father Marquette just on the edge of downtown. Local artist and craftspeople utilized the small but lively art show as a means to sell work and promote themselves as working artists. Over time, Art on the Rocks has evolved into one of the Upper Peninsula’s largest art fairs and twice named Top 200 Art Shows in the United States by Sunshine Artist Magazine.
Attending the fair as a patron is cool enough but what about participating as an artist with a chance at scoring some of the $5000 prize money? Local and regional artists are either invited to participate based on past scores in the juried competition or chosen through a special selection process in April of that year. If you’re interested in participating be sure to fill out the application online. This year the list of invited artists include Jude McConkey: photographer and jewelry maker, John Hubbard: NMU professor and painter, Mark Sudduth: glass sculptor, Candy McFall: jewelry maker, Tim Peters: ceramicist, and many, many more.
While the weather may hold surprise showers, the artists and craftspeople are guaranteed to astound and impress. Having perused Art on the Rocks last summer, I can speak firsthand to the quality of each artist’s works, as well as the vibrant and excited energies of everyone involved, from volunteers to viewers and artists alike. Friends and I didn’t leave the fair empty handed; Awesome Mitten art makes a great gift for anyone! So grab an umbrella–just in case–and head down to Marquette’s beautiful Mattson Lower Harbor for the Art on the Rocks 2014!
What are some of your favorite Michigan art festivals? Do you have some favorite artists from festivals past? Tell us about them in the comments below!