Arts on the Square
Events include art, music, workshops
By Angie Landsverk
Downtown Waupaca will be full of art and music when Arts on the Square takes place Friday and Saturday, Aug. 18-19, on the city square.
The 11th annual arts festival will include a street dance, 42 juried artists, three stages of music, workshops, poetry, storytelling, a community art project and food and beverages.
“It’s really a community event. There’s so many people involved,” said Marci Reynolds, president of the Waupaca Community Arts Board.
The arts board organizes the event, and Community First Credit Union is the title sponsor of Arts on the Square (AOTS).
The other sponsors of this year’s AOTS are Waupaca Foundry, T-Dub’s Public House, Danes Hall, The Paint Store and Office Outfitters.
The board also receives Waupaca hotel/motel tax dollars to support the event.
In addition, the retailer’s group Waupaca, King and In Between, downtown businesses, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Waupaca Area Public Library and Waupaca Historical Society sponsored music and art-related activities throughout this week.
Arts on the Square will kick off Friday night with a free street dance.
The Reptile Palace Orchestra will play under the Main Stage Tent on East Fulton Street from 7-10:30 p.m.
Members of the band sing in a variety of languages and play such as instruments as the violin, guitar, synthesizer, accordion, French horn, clarinet, saxophone, electric cello, tambura, drum kit and percussion.
An anonymous donation is covering the cost of the band.
The Saturday, Aug. 19, activities will take place from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Artists will fill the lawn in front of the library and city hall.
There will be jewelry, felted fiber, spoon sculptures, ceramics, encaustic paintings, wood, portraits, glass art, photography, leather, metal sculpture, watercolors, alcohol ink art, hand painted maps, graphics, silk fusion, oil paintings, hand-crafted lamps, brass wind chimes and rustic furniture.
The arts board will award cash prizes in several categories.
There will be entertainment throughout the day on three stages: the Main Stage, Historic Bandstand Stage and Jazz Stage.
The Main Stage will feature Randy Bruce, Tom Pease, Wade Fernandez, Auralai and Easy on the Eyez.
Bruce is a folk-rocker, Pease is a children’s musician, and Ferandez plays a mixture of his original music.
Auralai includes Stephanie Tschech on cello and vocals and Nate Lehner on various instruments. Their music is described as indie-pop.
Easy on the Eyez plays a variety of genres and is made up of Brad Hetlet, Dylan White, Anthony Balynas and Cavan Denning.
The Historic Bandstand Stage will feature Vibhas Kendzia, Aber Suzuki Strings, Jenny Burton and Friends and Chris Kokesh and the Central Waters Ukers.
Kendzia has traveled throughout the world and returns to Arts on the Square to play his flute.
Also returning are piano and violin students from the Aber Suzuki Center at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, as well as Burton and others on violins.
Kokesh is a fiddler, singer and songwriter. She is leading her ukelele students in playing a variety of tunes.
The Jazz Stage will feature the Shuvani Tribal Bellydancers, Caravan Gypsy Swing Ensemble and VIVO.
Shuvani first performed in 2001 as Screaming Gypsy and performs throughout Wisconsin.
The Caravan Gypsy Swing Ensemble is an instrumental acoustic jazz group based in Madison.
Warren Wiegratz, Pam Duronio and Tim Stemper combined to form VIVO, a jazz-pop, bossa-samba music ensemble. Its other musicians include percussionist Tony Wagner and bassist Dwayne Williams.
Arts on the Square will also include poetry. storytelling, workshops and community art projects.
Earlier this summer, area residents were invited to write stanzas to create the longest poem ever. It will be read at 2 p.m. with the help of a crankie.
Those attending this year’s festival also have the opportunity to make paper with the help of artist Debra Ketchum Jircik, of Eagle River’s Circle Life Studio.
The process includes adding pieces of fabric, plants and more to a bicycle-powered pulp beater.
The Poetry and Storytelling Stage will feature Paul Wiegel, Hmong Storyteller Mai Zong Vue and Native American storyteller Debra Morningstar.
Wiegel will also write poetry on demand during the festival.
Zong will tell stories about Hmong refugee resettlements, culture shocks and assimilation challenges.
Morningstar will share the Oneida culture when she presents “Touch the Earth” in full native dress.
Area residents will also share some of their favorite poems.
Poetry readings are also slated for 11 a.m. Pat Williams will read from her recently published book, “The Portside of Travel.” Jack Rhodes, Bill Zimmerman and Shannon Anderson will read selections of their favorite poems.
In addition, AOTS will feature 10 workshops for people of all ages.
Those who attend the event are also invited to visit the Hutchinson House in South Park and Art in the Depot, at the historic train depot.
If stormy weather is forecast this weekend, the arts board has a backup plan for its arts festival.
“Arts on the Square is a rain or shine event. However, in the case of severe weather, the artists will be relocated two blocks away to the Waupaca Rec Center on School Street. Check our website and Facebook and listen to WDUX for updates,” Reynolds said.
2017 AOTS Schedule of Events
Thursday, Aug. 17
• 3-6 p.m. – Chalking by youth around city square. Chalk provided.
• 6 p.m. – Waupaca Middle School band concert on the bandstand.
• 7-10 p.m. – Tony Wagner’s Mojo and Flipside on the deck at Simpson’s Restaurant.
Friday, Aug. 18
• 4-8 p.m. – Paper and Place community art project begins.
• 5-9 p.m. – Phantom Art Gallery open.
• 7-10:30 p.m. – Free street dance with the music of Reptile Palace Orchestra under the Main Stage Tent on East Fulton Street. Fire spinner Broegy Pease will perform during the band’s break. Food, beer and soda will be available.
Saturday, Aug. 19
Main Stage: East Fulton Street
• 10-11 a.m. – Randy Bruce.
• 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. – Tom Pease.
• 12:30-1:30 p.m. – Wade Fernandez.
• 1:45-2:45 p.m. – Auralai.
• 3-4:30 p.m. – Eazy On The Eyez.
Jazz Stage: Union Street Emporium
• 10-11 a.m. – Shuvani Dancers.
• 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. – Caravan Gypsy Swing.
• 2-4 p.m. – VIVO.
Historic Bandstand Stage
• 10:30 a.m. to noon – Vibhas Kendzia.
• 12:15-1:15 p.m. – Aber Suzuki Strings.
• 1:15-2:15 p.m. – Jenny Burton and Friends.
• 2:30-3:30 p.m. – Chris Kokesh and the Central Waters Ukers.
• 10 a.m. – Paul Wiegel.
• 10:15 a.m. – Hmong storyteller Mai Zong Vue.
• 11 a.m. – Adult poetry.
• Noon – Children’s poetry time.
• 1 p.m. – “Touch the Earth” with storyteller Debra Morningstar.
• 2 p.m. – Reading of the longest poem ever.
Community Art Project
• 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Paper and Place. Make homemade paper with the help of artist Debra Ketchum Jircik, of Circle of Life Studio, in Eagle River. Help add pieces of fabric, plants and weeds, old T-shirts and more to the bicycle-powered pulp beater, which will be turned out on to screens to make paper. The Saturday workshop in a continuation of Friday’s work as part of the community art project.
• All day – Poetry on Demand with Poet Paul Wiegel. He will create custom poems for people after they share a few ideas with him.
• All day – Shuvani Emporium. Visit the Shuvani Emporium tent to experience relaxation, movement and the ancient eastern practice of body art using henna, a natural plant derivative that is not permanent. The Shuvani women will also be spontaneously dancing throughout the day near the emporium and invite others to join them.
• All day – Pieceful Hands Quilt Guild Workshop. Waupaca area quilt guild members will have hands-on fabric projects for children of all ages.
• 10-11 a.m. and 1-2 p.m. – Waupaca Area Wood Carvers. Local carving experts will help children of all ages learn to carve figurines. During other times of the day, people will be able to watch them demonstrate their craft.
• 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. – WILW 96.3/WAUP 99.1/ Waupaca Local Live Tent. Radio staff will interview local talent.
• 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. – Return of the Mystery Bag. Artist Martha Duerr is a Waupaca native who now lives in St. Paul, Minnesota. She will bring out the creative side in children during her Mystery Bag Sculpture Building Workshop.
• 1-2 p.m. – Song Circle with musician Chris Kokesh. All are invited to sing and play in this music jam. Songs will include country, folk and gospel favorites, with lyrics and chords provided.
• 1-2:30 p.m. – Beeswax wraps. Use an ironing board to make an eco-friendly beeswax wrap to use at home for covering leftovers or wrapping a sandwich.
• 1-3 p.m. – Silk Screen with Ben and Elissa. Sibling artists Ben Achten and Elissa Stults will help participants create a silk screen design on a cotton dish towel they can then take home with them. There will be several designs from which to choose.
• 1-3:30 p.m. – Wine, Canvas and Jazz. Artist Becca Eckhardt will guide participants in this painting workshop, set up outside of Weasel’s Restaurant and Union Street Emporium. It is being sponsored by The Paint Store.