HUDSON -- Woodworker Steve Miller has been attending the Hudson Spirit of the St. Croix Art Festival for the last five years, since he and his wife moved to the area in 2015.
He loves meeting the people, and the chance to roam around and see all the other artists in the park.
“It’s a way to get out and meet people, especially if it’s a nice day,” he said.
This year, though the event at Lakefront Park has been canceled, Miller and several other artists are taking part in the virtual Spirit of the St. Croix marketplace hosted by The Phipps.
The marketplace is open through Oct. 11, and can be accessed at thephippsmarket.org.
Photographer Don Mendenhall usually makes the trek from the Madison-area to be a part of the Spirit festival, the farthest he goes for any art festival. He was drawn to it by the setting of the St. Croix River, and appreciates the support organizers give and the quality of the other artists.
He’s already received orders from the online marketplace after it opened Sept. 26.
“It just shows that they’re trying to be responsive to the artists and also just to keep St. Croix art festival out there and not just have it disappear for a year, keep the connection,” he said.
It’s been a number of years since Lana Sjoberg has been able to take part in the Spirit festival. She used to be there, even before it bore the name it does now, but over the last years it has fallen on the same weekend as another festival she attends. This year, with the virtual marketplace, she can join in once again.
“They’re trying something new, and that’s important. If anything is coming out of COVID, it’s people being more resourceful and more creative,” she said.
Sjoberg’s hats, some designed as sculptural pieces with each one having her own design and trademark, are available on the marketplace.
“I’m the Hat Lady in Hudson,” she said.
When she heard about the online show, Sjoberg knew she wanted to be involved.
“All of my shows have been canceled due to COVID, as most artists are feeling the pinch,” she said.
She also wanted to help The Phipps at this time.
“It’s not only helping to support artists, but they’re helping to support The Phipps, and that’s very important,” she said.
Miller, who will be selling his wood-turned food-safe bowls, echoed her sentiments.
“My thought along the way is it should go and help to bring some money in for The Phipps for them to kind of help continuing on doing their art outreach programs and different functions,” he said.
The online marketplace also serves as a reminder for people of the annual art festival, and will hopefully be back next year.
“More to kind of keep art in people’s mind, that is it available and something to look forward to,” Miller said.