University Park will come alive this weekend with artists, live music and theatrical performances to entice people of all ages to the Art on the Red event.

The annual event, which celebrates various forms of art, will feature dozens of artists from seven states who will be on hand to show and sell their handmade artworks.

The event, which was canceled last year due to the pandemic, runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 12, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 13. It’s an opportunity to meet regional artists and learn about their art.

This is a nationally-recognized juried event, which features unique and hand-made quality crafts and fine art works, fair food, art activities, live bands, outdoor theater performances and more, said Kristi Wilfahrt, interim executive director of the Public Arts Commission, which is the event sponsor.

Organizers expect to host about 100 artists and food vendors at this year’s event. There is no admission fee.

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Artist and artisan booths will feature fine arts, ceramics, metal-working, wood-working, glass sculptures, jewelers, fine crafts and unique home-made products ranging from soaps to baked goods, Wilfahrt said. “We have many returning artists and new ones too.”

A “Show and Shine Car Show” is planned for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, weather permitting, in the southeast area of the park.

The Theatre Without Walls, a new independent theater company in Grand Forks, is presenting “In Search of Persephone” at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday in the southwest area of the park. If it’s raining, performances will be rescheduled to begin at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday.

Also Saturday, live music performances are scheduled. The line-up calls for: 10 a.m. - Mark Ryan; 11 a.m. - Project: Constellation; 12 p.m. - Penumbra; 1 p.m. - The HeatSeekers; 2 p.m. -- Popejoy Jazztets; 3 p.m. - Chris Johnson; 4 p.m. - Popejoy; and 5 p.m. - O’Neil Family Band.

On Sunday, live music performances are scheduled for: 10 a.m. - Mudbucket; 11 a.m. - The Diers; 12 p.m. - Mudbucket; 1 p.m. - Maura Ferguson; 2 p.m. - The Diers; and 3 p.m. - Maura Ferguson.

Among the booths where artists will be demonstrating their art, allowing participation and learning by the festival-goer, are Cory Gordon, the Art on the Red 2021 Emerging Artist; artists with the Muddy Waters Clay Center; Mark Levsen Woodworking; Metalcraft by K; Dragonflies & Cards; and Legends of Africa.

Featured artist

Cory Gordon, an Ojibwe artist who is adept in several artistic mediums, has been selected as the “Emerging Artist” for this year’s event.

Gordon, who lives on the Leech Lake Reservation near Bemidji, specializes in carpentry, leatherworking and ceramics. Professional trained in carpentry, he has expanded his skills to other mediums under the mentorship of Ron Boock, who owns and operates the Squeaky Wheel Pottery studio east of Bemidji. Boock is also a vendor at the weekend’s Art on the Red.

From an early age, Gordon was influenced by his father, who dabbled in wood-carving and dream-catcher crafting, and his mother, who was especially skilled in Native American beadwork, according to information provided by the Public Arts Commission.

Gordon’s creative ceramic work includes pots, plates, mugs and bowls, which are distinctive for their humorous, unique designs that capture exaggerated facial features suggestive of animals or fantasy woodland creatures.

He also works with Boock on crafting gun-holsters and other functional leather goods, using various leathers that range from locally common to the exotic.

Food galore

Food vendors planning to participate in Art on the Red include: AJ's Sweet Express and Uncle Sal’s Italian Ice, Blondi’s Lemonade, Bucklin’s Mini Donuts, D&B Fresh Cut Fries, D&B Fresh Cut Fries, Due North GF Bakery & Goods, JD’s Salsa in Seconds, Jen’s Bakery, Little Apiary honey, Little Bangkok, Northwoods Food Factory, Old Tyme Kettle Korn, Oof-da Tacos, Skip’s Gourmet Grub, Stanley’s Sugarbush maple syrup, Steers Restaurant, Thomsen’s Root Beer, and Ye Old Sausage & Corn Dog.

Some of the more unusual food vendors include Little Bangkok, which is known for sushi as well as Thai, Japanese, Chinese and Vietnamese dishes, and Due North GF Bakery & Goods, which offers gluten-free homemade baked goods that do not taste gluten free, Wilfahrt said.

Event sponsors and contributors include: Grand Forks Park District, North Dakota Council on the Arts, Myra Foundation, Xcel Energy, ACME Tools, Scheels, UND, True North Equipment, Greater Grand Forks Convention and Visitors Bureau, The Chamber - Grand Forks/East Grand Forks, ACME Tools, Alerus Financial, Grand Forks City Arts Regrant Program through the Community Foundation, Grand Forks Public Health, HB Sound & Light, Vaaler Insurance, William L. Sullivan Electric, Alerus Center, and North Dakota Guaranty and Title Co.

In-kind partners include: Iheart Media, Leighton Broadcasting, Newman Signs, and the Grand Forks Herald/Forum Communications.