RED WING -- More than 100 artists are preparing to set up shop in downtown the weekend of Oct. 12 and 13 -- the annual Red Wing Arts Fall Festival.
Come rain or shine (or snow), artists, food vendors, musicians, nonprofits and more will be along Third and Bush streets for the 53rd annual event. The artists range from longtime participants to those trying out the festival for the first time.
Becca Cruger of Grand Forks is relatively new to showing her work in art shows. Cruger, along with Carley Rice and Christy Dickinson, is one of the three featured “emerging artists.”
Cruger creates collages on canvas.
“I use a lot of different materials like found objects,” she told the Republican Eagle.
Cruger began by making cards with her grandmother before transitioning into using canvas for her art.
For each piece, Cruger begins by taking out items that she has collected and then lays them onto the canvas, rearranging them until they spark her inspiration. The artist explained that she never goes into a piece with a plan for how it will look in the end; the final creation will be revealed when she is done.
“It’s freeing knowing that the piece will turn out being exactly what it needs to be,” Cruger said.
Cruger has a theme that runs through her pieces: All of my art is made to challenge and uplift the viewer.”
Jamie Heiden also is showing her work during the festival. In 2018, Heiden’s photography was named Red Wing Arts Best of Show.
Heiden of Holmen, Wis., creates pieces by laying photos on top of each other to create unique textures and dimensions. The process of choosing photos, dodging, burning and layering the photos can take about four or five hours. Some pieces can take about a week to be completed.
“The image isn’t complete until I have the title on it,” Heiden said.
Each of her photos tell a story, with the title acting as a way into the story. People at art fairs and shows often ask Heiden what the photo and its title mean, but she doesn’t usually tell them the story that she sees in the photo because she wants viewers to create the story in the image that they see.
Before the photos are created in Photoshop, Heiden jumps into her car and goes looking for inspiration. She packs food and then goes in search of places and things to photograph. When she is done collecting photos, she pulls up her GPS to find her way home.
This collection process can result in taking about 200 to 500 photos. When it’s not art fair season, Heidin said she likes to collect shots a couple of times every month. This usually occurs in the Driftless Region, near her home in La Crosse, but Heidin also has captured images in Europe.
Now that Heidin’s two children are older, she works as a photographer full time. When asked if she has advice for aspiring artists, she said:
“Find your voice and then don’t be afraid to spread it around.” She also noted that “the idea of inspiration coming to you is kind of false, you have to go out and seek it.”
Cruger seeks inspiration by moving pieces around a canvas. Heidin seeks inspiration by chasing photos in her car. Inspiration is out there to be found.
For more information about the Red Wing Arts Fall Festival, visit www.redwingarts.org/fall-festival-landing.