The 47th annual Artarama will be held at Riverside Park behind the fairgrounds in Eagle River this Saturday, July 20.

Rain or shine, Eagle River’s largest art show and sale will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

It was 47 years ago that a small group of community-minded individuals, who loved the world of art, conceived the idea of a quality art show. From that core group grew what has become one of the Midwest’s longest-running and most prestigious art shows.

A judged and juried show that attracts hundreds of applicants, Artarama 2019 will present approximately 80 artists in an outdoor setting along the Eagle River. 

“Our No. 1 priority is choosing truly gifted artists — creators of unique works of art,” said Lori Hahn, Artarama chairwoman. “Secondly, we strive for a balanced show offering many forms of art.” 

Oil and watercolor painting, sculpture, basket and fiber artistry, glassware, photography, jewelry design, woodcarving, pottery and a broad array of distinctive craftwork will be displayed and for sale.

To validate the best of the best, Artarama has two judges who will spend the entire morning visiting each artist’s booth and deciding who will win one of the three Award of Excellence ribbons and cash award, and three Honorable Mention ribbons.

“The winners of these prestigious awards are always so happy to have been chosen in such an elite group of artists,” Hahn said. “The Artarama Committee realizes the enormity of hauling around the artwork, setting up in the wee hours of the morning and sitting outside talking with the hundreds of people who come to buy their artwork. This award makes it all worthwhile.”

Two silent auctions will be offered for the true bargain seeker, one at 9:15 a.m. and a second at 11 a.m. under the big white tent.

“Artarama exhibitors generously donate their artwork to be auctioned with minimum bids starting at just one-half of the normal retail cost,” said Karen Kubacki, silent auction chairwoman.

Artarama visitors can peruse the items in the silent auction, make a bid, take in the rest of the show and return to check or increase their bid.

“All proceeds from the silent auction are put toward the two $1,000 scholarships that Artarama awards each year to deserving high school seniors. The seniors chosen for 2019 scholarships will be volunteering at Artarama by collecting items from the artists for the silent auction on the 20th,” said Kubacki.

A special feature of Artarama is “Young at Art,” an exhibit celebrating and promoting young artists from the area. This special section of Artarama features an entire tent displaying the handmade creations of artists 18 years old and younger. 

“Our young artists have been very innovative in past years, having created oil paintings, watercolors, earrings, 3-D greeting cards, bracelets and airbrushed T-shirts,” said Hahn. “Our mission is to encourage young artists to explore their talent and to feel a sense of accomplishment. Many people tell us that their art is as interesting and diversified as their adult counterparts at the show.”

Adding to the festive day will be the music of Vibhas Kendzia, a performing and recording artist on native East and West Indian flutes, classical flutes and saxophone. Also, Heidi Sue from Susan Roe Productions will entertain from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

“There will be plenty of shade and seating under the big white tent after the silent auctions wrap up for the weary shopper to relax and enjoy a musical break,” said Hahn.

Traditional picnic foods by Wisconsin Meats will be available on-site. 

“All in all, there just is no better way to spend a summer day than at Artarama,” said Hahn.

Riverside Park is located on West Division Street in Eagle River behind the Vilas County Fairgrounds. The art show is free, but parking on the fairgrounds will be a nominal fee paid to the Eagle River Lions Club. A city ordinance prohibits dogs in the park. 

For more information, call (715) 525-2100 or visit artarama-er.com.

Artarama is a nonprofit organization and all proceeds from the show itself are reinvested into the North Woods community in the form of donations to local libraries, sponsorship of art programs and contests, and donations toward aesthetic improvements to the community.