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Arts on the Shore includes children's activities and works by area artisans

WORTHINGTON -- The Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and Unvarnished Music Festival involves more than just windsurfing and music.

For children, one of the most popular attractions is Arts on the Shore, which offers them a chance to explore multiple art mediums in a hands-on way. And thanks to funding from the Worthington Optimist Club, there is no participation charge.

Arts on the Shore has been a part of the Regatta for six years.

The goal for Arts on the Shore is to give the community exposure to different forms of art, explained Arts on the Shore and AOK Club advisor Gail Holinka. The AOK (Art Optimist Kiwanis) Club members assist with some of the activities.

"If you have good arts in the community, you have a strong community," said Holinka.

AOK Club has been participating in Project Linus by creating quilts for children with cancer. Holinka also wanted to get the children of the community involved, so they will decorate individual squares for the quilts during Arts on the Shore. The AOK members will sew the squares together later in the summer.

Other children's activities this year include sand casting, face painting, water balloons, kites and arts and crafts.

"I think my favorite thing is after the kids come to the tent to see them running around with whatever they've made; it makes the festival so much brighter," Holinka said with a smile.

Arts on the Shore also gives artists from throughout the region a chance to showcase their works. Among the wide range of mediums shown throughout the weekend event will be glassblowing, woodworking and jewelry.

During last year's Regatta, a sculpture was made and assembled by the AOK Club under the supervision of renowned sculptor Kevin Reese. Reese's focus is on art that moves, inspired by the ideas of Alexander Calder. Inspired by windsurfing and music, the almost 15-foot sculpture is now displayed in Florence Garden at Sailboard Beach. Funding for this project was made possible by the Nobles County Art Center.

"It's something to remind us of what a few people in a community can do if they love something," Holinka said.

Holinka is hopeful that more art-based projects can be incorporated into the Windsurfing Regatta in the future. "I'd like to get a 3D chalk artist to come around, or another sculptor," she said. Contributors to the Arts on the Shore events include the Optimist Club, Probuild and Worthington Ready Mix. For more information about Arts on the Shore, contact the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce, 372-2919.