2nd Annual Wabeno Art & Music Fest

Plein air painters at the Second Annual Wabeno Art and Music (WAM) Fest

Saturday, August 6, 2016 was a beautiful day in Wabeno, Wisconsin, where four Borderland artists registered to participate in a plein air painting competition. Darlene Strand-O’Connor, Gail Stanek, Jane Landwehr and I have been painting together for a few years with a rather laid-back approach to our day’s ritual. It was not an easy decision to submit our applications. From my point-of-view, deadlines and time limits usually block my creative muse! For this experience, we had to register, have our canvases stamped and be ready to paint between 8 and 9:00AM. Then, by 2PM our paintings had to be signed and framed and delivered to the WAM Gallery building, ready for hanging.

The festival organizers were gracious and welcoming. We chose several shaded sites along the north branch of the Oconto River. Interestingly, once our attention was focused on our canvases and palettes…the pressure of time limits dissolved. The visitors who wandered by were sometimes inquisitive, and always positive. Many asked questions and some returned to see our progress. As the end time approached, we generally found that we could say we were ready to sign our canvases and frame them. We were all winners from the standpoint of having completed our work, enjoyed meeting other artists and a steady stream of viewers…and we were immersed in the outdoors all day. And to top off the day, Gail Stanek won a Second Place Award and sold a painting.

The Festival had three venues for a variety of music genres including folk, blue Grass, country, jazz and blues and an Irish dancing demonstration. Children were busy creating art and showing their work in a “Junior Rembrandt Competition.” If you want a relaxing day for the family, watch for the Wabeno Art and Music Festival the first Saturday in August next year.

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