MARQUETTE — For those who have been missing Art on the Rocks, there’s a chance this weekend to enjoy Art on the Mountain.
The former has been canceled for the last two summers due to the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 restrictions, and organizers are fully expecting its return to Ellwood A. Mattson Lower Harbor Park in 2022.
The annual OutBack Art Fair and a downscaled version of Art on the Rocks, dubbed Art on the Blocks, took place in July.
But for those who still haven’t gotten their art fix via those summertime events, there’s one more chance to fulfill it this weekend with the inaugural Art on the Mountain, which is slated for Saturday and Sunday at Marquette Mountain Resort.
The event will serve as an alternative show due to the cancellation of Art on the Rocks and is being put on by Art on the Rocks in partnership with Marquette Mountain Resort, the Lake Superior Art Association and the city of Marquette Arts and Culture Center, with additional support from Travel Marquette.
Tristan Luoma, director of Art on the Rocks/Art on the Mountain, said his team wanted to host another show at some point this year to allow local artists a chance to showcase their work.
“Though we know there’s no replacing Art on the Rocks after 60-plus wonderful years, as COVID conditions continued to improve over the summer and confidence in holding community events increased, we felt the pull to coordinate an alternative fair before the end of the year to provide space for local and regional artists to share and sell their work, and for the community to meet and support these incredible artists,” he said.
“After we made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Art on the Rocks, we were contacted by Eric Jorgensen from Marquette Mountain Resort. An ardent supporter of the arts, Eric was eager to help out however he could, offering Marquette Mountain as an alternative location, and things blossomed from there. After a few conversations with (Eric) and his team, holding an event at Marquette Mountain was a no-brainer. A perfect opportunity to reunite with artists, to hit refresh after a tumultuous year and a half, to catch our footing heading into what is hopefully a happy and healthy 2022 season.”
Thirty-two artists will be featured at the event, making it about a quarter of the size of Art on the Rocks. The fair will feature oil, watercolor and acrylic paintings; drawings; jewelry; mixed media; woodworking; printmaking; fiber arts; and more.
There will also be children’s activities, a silent auction, live music and other activities.
“In addition to the art fair, we’ll have art activities for kids hosted by Shape & Sounds Art Academy, face painting, a silent art auction in the T-Bar with all proceeds benefitting the Lake Superior Art Association’s annual programming, and live music by Marquette-based surf rock all-stars Ramble Tamble on Saturday evening alongside bonfires and an evening segment of the art fair,” Luoma said. “Marquette Mountain will also be operating its Snowfield chairlift, which for $10, can bring patrons to the top of the mountain for a scenic 1.2-mile hike or bike ride back down. The T-Bar will also be serving drinks all weekend.”
The event will also be paired with the city of Marquette’s annual Art Awards, which will conclude the weekend’s festivities on Sunday.
“The city of Marquette annual Art Awards is by far one of my favorite annual community art events, and I’m so thrilled Art on the Mountain will quite literally share a stage with this special occasion,” Luoma said. “This year marks the 24th year of the annual Art Awards, and anyone looking down the list of past award recipients is sure to recognize at least a few names. These artists, volunteers, businesses, organizations, writers … they’ve all consistently gone above and beyond to help build Marquette’s arts and cultural scene to what it is today.
“And they’re around us. We see them in their element, we see them at events, we see them on the street, we see their work on display around town. They’re at the top of their craft and have in many cases changed lives. Formally honoring and recognizing that is incredibly important, so we can’t wait for Sunday evening. It’ll be a perfect wind-down after a fun and busy weekend.”
Art on the Mountain kicks off at 11 a.m. Saturday and daytime activities run through 6 p.m. Live music and evening activities will begin at 6:30.
The fair resumes at 11 a.m. Sunday and daytime activities conclude at 3 p.m., with the 24th annual Marquette Art Awards beginning at 5 p.m.
The event is free to attend both days.
Should Art on the Mountain be successful, Luoma won’t rule out an annual show at Marquette Mountain.
“We see a ton of potential for an annual, secondary art fair outside of the busy summer season and our normal show cycle,” he said. “We’re hopeful that the artists have a great time, the community seeks out and embraces Art on the Mountain, and we’re in turn able to turn this into something consistent that evolves and grows year after year.”
As for the traditional Art on the Rocks, organizers are committed to a 2022 show after a two-year hiatus.
“That’s the goal,” Luoma said. “Full steam ahead.”
For more information about Art on the Mountain, visit www.mqtcompass.com/event/art-on-the-mountain/.
Ryan Spitza can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 248. His email address is email@example.com.
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