The College Hill Art Fest, art at its best

Art fest

Cedar Fall’s is home to the College Hill Art Fest which is held on the campus of the University of Northern Iowa at the corner of College and 23rd Street. Keith and I traveled to Cedar Falls to attend the 100 Years of John Deere and to discover a bit about this festival and the fun things to do in Cedar Falls.

Art fest
College Hill Arts Festival this year celebrated 40 Years!

The art fair opened on Friday June 15 at noon and we arrived just a little over an hour later.  Finding a place to park was a little dicey and the temperatures were hovering 90 plus, but the trees were shady and the art captured us as soon as we walked onto the Campus and into the festival area.

Founded in 1979 by Hugh Petersen on the sidewalks of the college Hill business district, this is the 40th year for the event which has grown to be a huge festival not only for Cedar Falls, but for the State of Iowa as well.

The area is filled with seventy-five artists that were chosen by a panel of independent jurors. The seventy-five artists vary greatly in their type of art. We were thrilled to see such a wonderful variety from photography, ceramics, glass, painting, jewelry, wood, fiber, graphics and sculpture.

According to the brochure I picked up 40 of the artists were there for the first time this year.  Besides the art, we shopped to the sounds of great music by Josia Eden and there was food as well if you wished. There was also fun activities for the little ones as well.

Sometimes Keith and I were drawn to the same art and other times not.  I was quite taken by the art of Mark Anderson and Carmen Zajicek who created unique sculptures that Zajicke said combined nature and metal.

Art fest
Mark Anderson and Carmen Zajick share their art.

While Keith kept turning to some of the whimsical photographs with cars and vehicles, I found Robin Mueller’s,beautiful stained glass arresting. She traveled here all the way from Minneapolis Minnesota.

Art Fest
Robin Mueller’s stained glass.

I was fascinated by Steve and Valerie Doerr.  The Doerr’s worked in wood and called their work “The Wooden Doerr”. They traveled to the show from Joplin, Missouri and their card states, “Creating Turned Art from God’s Creations”.

Art fest
Valerie Doerr and the pendants made from oak once lining the oak trees on the lawn of the high school before the tornado hit in Joplin MO

Valerie Doerr showed me some lovely wooden pendants that caught my eye.  Some of these were from oak trees that had lined the lawn of the high school at Joplin forming a cross before the tornado devastated the town.  This wood has now been reclaimed into these lovely pendants.  I had to have a pendant, although I chose one of an exotic wood with some embedded turquoise.

Art Fest
Douglas Becker and his cool statue with he glass flower

Another artist that caught our ey was Douglas Becker from Bethel, Minnesota.  He had a lovely sculpture with a glass flower that caught my eye.  He is famous for creating witch balls, which are hollow spheres of glass slashed with bright colors. These balls were said to have been made by superstitious glass makers during the 16th and 17th centuries and hung in their windows to ward off evil spirits.  Later these spheres wer used as Christmas decorations.  I love learning interesting history like this.

The festival continues on Saturday June 16th. This is a great opportunity to shop for Christmas early or buy yourself something like I did!

Art in Cedar Falls is alive and thriving at the College Hills Art Festival.  If you don’t make it this year, mark your calendar for June 21-22, 2019!