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Art in the Park to feature more than 100 exhibitors

JoAnn Hovet and her daughter, Sage, 10, with the cockalier spaniel, Lucie, show some of art work they will exhibit during the weekend Art in the Park in Bemidji's Library Park. Pioneer Photo/Molly Miron

The 42nd annual Art in the Park Fine Art and Craft Festival offers two days of entertainment and art showcasing the best of artists who compete for booth space in Bemidji's Library Park.

Lori Forshee-Donnay, executive director of the Bemidji Community Arts Center, said the park is fully booked this year with artists in painting, ceramics, furniture, jewelry, glass, sculpture and fabrics. Music, theater and ongoing entertainment will round out the arts offerings. And the food alley will satisfy every hunger from kettle corn to ice cream and goodies on-a-stick.

The festival exhibitors will set up Friday night and Saturday morning, with the show open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 18, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, July 19.

The festival this year will also feature the Bemidji Carnegie Library Centennial Celebration with two performances by Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater with performances at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The Centennial Celebration is sponsored by the Bemidji Community Arts Center, Headwaters School of Music and the Arts, Bemidji Area Arts Endowment and Minnesota State Arts Board.

Another major part of the entertainment will be the Mask and Rose Theater production of Shakespeare's "As You Like It" with an all-female cast. Performances opened Thursday and will continue at 7:30 p.m. tonight, Saturday and Sunday, and 3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in the waterfront tent.

One of the local artists, who has exhibited at Art in the Park for about four years, is JoAnn Hovet. Hovet paints in watercolor, pastels and acrylics, "whatever I think is going to suit the work best. Color is usually a very big part of my work."

She also designs jewelry in various media, including fresh water pearls and glass ornamented with silver and gold.

Hovet said both her daughters, Jade, 16, and Sage, 10, help with the jewelry design and construction.

"She'll do the most interesting patterns," Hovet said of her younger daughter.

As for Jade, Hovet said she is involved in creating the fused glass pieces and is a girl with "a flair for fashion."

Hovet added that because Jade is away on a youth mission trip with Calvary Lutheran Church during Art in the Park weekend, this will be the first year her older daughter doesn't help in the booth.

As for her husband, Randy, she said, "He's my roadie. He puts my tent up."

Hovet has degree in art education and teaches at Cass Lake-Bena Elementary School. She said she takes in three or four art festivals a summer and likes combining the jewelry and paintings in her exhibit booth. She said customers might have limited wall space for a major painting purchase, but they can always use more jewelry.

The various colored glass for the jewelry are cut, cleans, arranged in layers and fused in a kiln at 1,500-1,600 degrees for eight hours. The edges are then ground down, filled with silver and mounted for wearing.

"It's a huge process, but I've fallen in love with the jewelry," Hovet said.

Sage said she likes assembling the bead jewelry, which needs a precise, but not obvious or stilted pattern.

"I really like how everything has to be exact," she said.

Sage will enter the fifth grade at Lincoln Elementary School in the fall and Jade will be a junior at Bemidji High School.