There was something for everybody Saturday -- art, live music, food, kids' activities -- at the annual “Art on the Red” event at University Park.
The free event, which continues from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today, is a delight for the senses. The sights, sounds and smells enticed people of all ages to come out and see and purchase the creative work of artists from throughout the area. Live music enhanced the laid-back atmosphere, as couples, friends, families with children, and people with dogs strolled through the shady park.
Wafting through the air, scents of cinnamon roasted nuts, burgers, mini donuts and “kettle korn” intermingled to tempt visitors.
“I love gyros,” said Tammy Christenson, Grand Forks, as she eyed the menu posted on the New Flavors Food Truck with a couple of friends.
“We usually come to this every year,” Christenson said.
What she enjoys most, she said, is “seeing unique merchandise that is not coming from a national chain store.”
Kyle and Kayla Bueckers, Sauk Centre, Minn., who operate Blondi’s Lemonade, also enjoy being a part of “Art on the Red.”
“We’ve been here many times,” Kyle Bueckers said. “This is our 10th year as owners.”
They’re keeping up the tradition, dating back 25 years, started by the previous owner of the enclosed stand -- a huge lemon -- where, from inside, they serve lemonade, he said.
“We’re up here a lot,” he said. “We like Grand Forks. Nice people.”
Among the 70-plus artisan booths strewn across the park lawn, Jon Offutt, a glass-blowing artist from Fargo, displayed dozens of unusual pieces -- the result of a lifetime of study and practice.
Offutt, who has shown his work here many times, is the only hot-glass blower in the state, he said. “I’ve been doing this most of my adult life, 38 years.”
His art starts out as molten glass in a furnace heated to 2,000 degrees.
“Most of my colors are on the surface,” said Offutt whose art is distinguishable by the subjects he captures.
“You don’t often see imagery in glass,” he said.
His home, the Upper Midwest, has had a “profound effect” on his art, he said. Many pieces have a horizon line, which is so familiar to those who live or grew up in this area.
At the booth run by Becky Goltz, owner of The Little Apiary of Hendrum, Minn., she sold several kinds of honey produced “with no chemicals” at her home, she said.
She and her beekeeper husband, Kendall, use “cold processing,” meaning no heat is used in extracting honey from hives.
Dave Hodgson of Grand Forks stopped to taste some samples and purchased a jar.
“It’s great,” he said. “I can’t wait to go home and try it.”
The local “Arts 4 Vets” organization exhibited artworks by area veterans, veterans’ family members and active duty military service personnel, and encouraged others to join the group.
It has a new permanent home -- 215 N. Third St. -- to house a gallery, classes and other events from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays, said Kim Forness Wilson, artist and organization leader.
“We’re no longer nomads,” she said.
Of the artwork that lined the booth, she said, “They are like hidden treasures.”