In 7th year, Luverne’s Art Rocks going strong
LUVERNE — The seventh annual Art Rocks, a juried fine art show, drew young and old during the Saturday and Sunday event. Held at the Rock Courthouse Square, numerous artists showcased a variety of works that were also available for sale.
“We first started on Main Street, but it was so windy that year. The second year, it wasn’t windy, but it rained and rained,” remembered Jerry Deuschle, artist and event organizer. “After that, we decided to move it here so we could anchor our tents down into the ground.”
Deuschle estimated 20 artists participated in the event this year, down slightly from last year.
Organizers of Art Rocks strive to maintain a high level of quality at the event, and all participating artists must submit photos of their artwork prior to being accepted into Art Rocks.
Since 2006, Art Rocks has grown into a summer highlight for many artists and art appreciators.
“And that was our hope,” Deuschle said. “That we would attract the people that really appreciate and enjoy fine art. Events like this are terribly important for art and people interested in art.”
The event drew many artists from around the area, and in previous years has also showcased the works of artists from as far away as the Twin Cities.
New this year was a children’s walk, sponsored by the Rock County Early Childhood Initiative and organized largely by volunteer Kristi Groth.
“We just thought that we’ve never done anything at Art Rocks before, and I had seen this activity somewhere else and suggested we try it this year,” Groth said.
The activity incorporated reading with hands on activities and was aimed at children ages five and younger.
“We tried to pick a book that coordinated with the Art Rocks theme,” explained Groth. “And this one (Mouse Paint), with the primary colors, seemed like a perfect fit.”
Large pages of Mouse Paint, written by Ellen Stoll Walsh, were laminated and placed on stakes to form a short walking path for children and parents. The book tells the story of three mice that discover three bottles of paint, red, blue and yellow, and the lessons they learn about color as they play with the paint. After reading the story, children were able to learn about paint and color with hands on activities — including experimenting with mixing colors.
“Reading isn’t just about English. It can also be about math and science,” said Shelley Krueger, Rock County Early Childhood Initiative co-coordinator.
After reading Mouse Paint, each of the children received a bag with a book and a small watercolor paint set.
“It’s supposed to be making reading more of an active thing for children,” said Krueger. “Rather than having reading be just sitting, they can learn about it in a more interactive way.”
“That’s the whole thing, to encourage parents to read with their kids,” Groth added. “Literacy, movement, walking and the creative part so you can get three different areas with walk. It’s adding another element to Art Rocks.”