Sunday, August 2, 2009

August Brings Music & Arts to Sandpoint

Whether it is music or visual arts you enjoy, Sandpoint is the place to be the month of August. From the Festival at Sandpoint to the Artist’s Studio Tour to the annual Arts & Craft Fair at City Beach, there is definitely something for everyone to enjoy.

The Artist’s Studio Tour of North Idaho, which is celebrating its seventh year, is a two-weekend event featuring 30 of this area’s finest artists.

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Aug. 14-16 and again Aug. 21-23, artists will open their studios for people to browse the creations of the artists who say they are inspired by the beauty of North Idaho.

“You will find working artists and artisans demonstrating their crafts,” said Joanne Heaviland, one of the artists who will have her photography on display. “You can peruse the offerings direct from the artist and connect the dots from inspiration to finished product.”

Some of this year’s featured artists include Susan Dalby, whose work in glass, jewelry and watercolor made her the chosen artist to create this year’s Festival at Sandpoint poster.

But the tour is not limited to certain mediums of art. Included in the tour are artists who work with metal sculpture, pottery, photography, jewelry, silk painting, woodwork and stained glass.

“It is a delightful experience filled with soulful inspiration, amazing creativity and often mini adventures just finding the studios,” said Heaviland. The studios are spread out from north of Sandpoint in Hope to Garfield Bay to the south.

For those who cannot make it to either of the tour weekends, Heaviland says that the studios are also open by appointment all summer long.

More information and a map to locate the studios can be found at

Pend Oreille Arts Council’s annual Arts and Crafts Fair
On Saturday and next Sunday, Sandpoint’s City Beach will be full of not just those seeking relief from the heat, but also those wishing to view the unique creations of more than 100 artists and artisans from across the United States and Canada.

Sponsored by the Pend Oreille Arts Council, the Arts and Crafts Fair is in its 37th year. While it is the arts and crafts that attract people to the event, there also are live performances each hour, an area where youth can participate in hands-on activities, a variety of food vendors and several demonstrations by various artists.

According to Kim Queen, executive director for Pend Oreille Arts Council, it is the quality of the artwork that brings visitors back year after year.

“Everything is 100 percent handmade by the artist, and each artist is on hand to talk about the work,” said Queen. “You gain an understanding of the process it took to create it and get a feel for the person who made it.”

And it is no mistake that the fair always takes place at the same time as the Festival at Sandpoint.

“By hosting the Arts and Crafts Fair during that time, it enables patrons to truly enjoy a full arts experience in Sandpoint,” said Queen.

Organizers utilize volunteers in all aspects of the fair, and this year there will be approximately 90.

“We have artists apply (to be at the fair) from all over the western U.S. and Canada, but most of the artists represented are from Idaho, Montana, Washington, Oregon, and a few from California,” said Queen. “In previous years, we have seen vendors from as far away as Kentucky, Florida and even Maine.”

Queen said the most unique aspect of the fair is the wide variety of displays.

“We offer such a variety of mediums – jewelry, oil and watercolor paintings, fiber arts, metal, woodworking and glass – the list goes on,” said Queen. “Every year, you will see something very different than the year before.”

Festival at Sandpoint
On Thursday the sidewalk at Sandpoint’s War Memorial Field will once again be lined with people vying for the best seat for the opening night of the popular eight-day Festival at Sandpoint.

The music festival is a favorite among locals and people from all over the Northwest. Families, co-workers and friends spread out their blankets and enjoy a picnic prior to the show. Attendees can either bring in their own food and beverages or take advantage of what’s available from the many vendors on hand.

Organizers say one reason the event is so popular is not only because of the exceptional music, but also because of the intimate setting. Overlooking the lake, watching the osprey fly across the evening sky and relaxing on blankets or chairs, it is as though one is in their own backyard.

Opening this year’s Festival on Thursday evening will be the 1970s bands Firefall and Poco. The bands were supposed to appear at last year’s event but mistakenly double-booked, so fans and organizers were thrilled when they agreed to perform as the opening act this season.

Other performers during the eight-day event include Blues Traveler with JJ Grey and Mofro, Friday; Boz Scaggs with the Subdudes, Saturday; a family concert, Green Eggs and Ham with the Spokane Youth Orchestra, next Sunday; Michele Shocked with special guest Jonatha Brooke, Aug. 13; Keller Williams and Donavon Frankenreiter, Aug. 14; country music star Clint Black with special guest Jypsi, Aug. 15; and the grand finale on Aug. 16 featuring the Spokane Symphony.

Festival at Sandpoint
Tickets are still available and range from $29.95 to $49.95 with the exception of the family concert which is $5 per person.

For more information or to purchase tickets go online to http://www.festivalat or call (888) 265-4554.

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