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REGATTA: Grant allows for multiple creative endeavors in conjunction with festival

Youngsters work on their artistic creations in 2012 at the AOK art tent.

WORTHINGTON — While windsurfers are riding the waves of Lake Okabena and musicians are performing on stage, a variety of artistic endeavors will also be part of this year’s Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Unvarnished Music Festival.

Thanks to a grant from the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council, five artists who have previously participated in Arts in the Shore will return to Worthington to share their talents through public art initiatives. Additionally, there will be vendors selling their creations along the Lake Okabena lakeshore, and children will have the opportunity to create their own masterpieces at the kids art tent manned by the AOK (Arts Optimist Kiwanis) Club, with support from the Worthington Optimist Club.

The returning artists are: Steve Turner, drum teacher, maker and performer who was last here in 2007; Shawn McCann, a Twin Cities chalk artist, illustrator and muralist, who created a sidewalk chalk drawing last year; Nick and Nicole Fischer, from Aberdeen, S.D., who oversaw the creation of several mosaic murals in the community in 2009 and 2010; and Kevin Reese, an actor, designer and visual artist, who specializes in mobile installations and kinetic sculptures such as the one currently on Sailboard Beach, constructed in 2008.

Chainsaw artist Marc Kurtz will also demonstrate his skills during a Friday-only appearance.

Many of the artistic endeavors will be open to the public. Here is a general schedule of public events that will take place during the Regatta:

* Shawn McCann will create a mural on the side of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) building, 1117 Second Ave., all week until the mural is finished. Talented artists are welcome to assist.

* Mark Kurtz will demonstrate his chainsaw art from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday at Lake Street and Second Avenue.

* Nick and Nicole Fischer will paint a new turtle mosaic mural and possibly a second fish mural if time allows from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday at Sailboard Beach. Adults and children are welcome to participate.

* Arts and crafts for kids will be offered from 10 am. to 2 p.m. Saturday, followed by fun and games from 2 to 3 p.m. at the AOK tent.

* A sidewalk art contest for all ages will be Saturday, with judging planned for later afternoon. Prizes will be awarded.

* Kevin Reese will lead groups of students and others in several mobile-building seminars throughout the week, culminating in the installation of the project on Friday and its dedication at 9 a.m. Saturday at Memorial Auditorium Performing Arts Center. The dedication is open to the public.

* Steve Turner will also lead several drum-making and group drumming sessions throughout the week at various locations in the community. A drumming circle will be 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday at Sailboard Beach, and he will make other appearances at the festival as his schedule allows.

* Arts on the Shore vendors are scheduled to be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

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