Art Rocks Fine Arts Festival this weekend
LUVERNE -- Greg Hoogeveen launched his photography career at Art Rocks Fine Arts Festival in Luverne one year ago, and he will return to the downtown show and sale this Saturday with more than just an array of prints and images on stone tiles. This time, he comes with a bit of notoriety.
In late May, Hoogeveen was one of five artists honored with the Emerging Artist Award during a show at Jackpot Junction Casino near Morton. The event, hosted by the Southwest Initiative Foundation, recognizes the talents of new Minnesota artisans.
Hoogeveen, born and raised in Luverne and now raising his own family there, realized his love for photography while in high school and college.
After putting his camera and lenses aside to concentrate on his career -- his full-time job is in graphic design for a book publishing company in Sioux Falls, S.D. -- he rediscovered his photographic inspiration a couple of years ago, thanks to advancements in digital technology, and has been clicking the shutter ever since.
More recently, Hoogeveen started doing commercial work, taking family portraits and now working on a calendar for a bank in Luverne. His favorite things to photograph are those found in nature.
"Plants, animals, weather -- anything like that in its actual state is what I really like," he said. "I'm an avid outdoorsman with hunting and fishing, and (photography blends) well together. My kids go with me, too -- we enjoy it and take the camera with."
Hoogeveen has participated in five or six art shows since his appearance at the 2010 Art Rocks festival and is becoming known for his focus on Rock County landmarks.
One of his photographs that always draws a lot of attention is of the Blue Mounds State Park just north of Luverne.
On Saturday, Hoogeveen will introduce several new prints, including ones of the blooming prickly pear cactus at the state park, birds and several of Luverne's historic buildings, including the Hinkly House and the depot.
"When I took them, I wanted to get a different angle or emphasize the structure in a different way -- catch them with the lighting either in the morning or at night," he said.
Hoogeveen prints some of his own photographs from his basement studio, but most are sent to a company in Minnesota.
When the prints are finished, he often prefers to feature them in float frames because it puts more emphasis on the photographs.
For those who may not have the wall space for a large print, Hoogeveen also offers 4- by 4-inch marble tiles that are imprinted with his photographs.
People use them as drink coasters or accent pieces.
"It's just a different way to show (the work)," he said. "It's kind of fun, too, to see what people like."
In the near future, Hoogeveen hopes to begin selling photographs that have been laser-engraved in wood.
Hoogeveen is one of nearly 30 regional artists participating in the fifth annual Art Rocks Fine Arts Festival from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Rock County Courthouse Square, located two blocks north of Main Street in Luverne.
A variety of art work will be on display and for sale, ranging from paintings and pottery to sculptures, custom furniture, jewelry and block prints.
Free entertainment will fill the day as well, with Bum Steer performing from 9 to 10 a.m.; Jim and Jay from 10 to 11 a.m.; Renaissance Players from 11 a.m. to noon; Not Exactly from noon to 1 p.m.; Ron and Jane Cote from 1 to 2 p.m.; Bruce Dysthe from 2 to 3 p.m.; and Prairie Song from 3 to 4 p.m.
In addition, the third annual Kids Rock Sidewalk Chalk Contest will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Cash prizes will be awarded in three age divisions: Kindergarten through third grade; fourth through sixth grade; and seventh through 12th grade.