Updated: July 31, 2021 09:22 PM
Created: July 31, 2021 12:15 PM
More than 140 artists from around the area return to Loring Park this weekend for the Loring Park Art Festival.
It's a 20-year tradition in Minneapolis that, like many events, was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Local artists are thrilled to be back and able to showcase their work in person.
"I import my drawings on rice paper or on wood panels into the wax so they're buried in layers and layers of wax, and it gives it kind of a dream-like, surreal feel," painter Naomi Hart said. The St. Cloud artist said her work uses an ancient form of painting that uses hardened beeswax to add texture and depth to her art.
For Hart, art is an outlet for her mental health and personal healing. She said it wasn't just her finances that struggled because of the pandemic.
"With work being shut down and the country being in such turmoil, I was having a difficult time self-managing in the way that I have a habit of managing my mental health," she said.
Hart said her work was entirely shut down most of this past year and the only way she was able to sustain her work was through local grants.
"Art fairs were shut down for sure and also my work, I work in the art arena so my work was also deemed inessential," she said, "so really my income just evaporated."
But the Loring Park Art Festival's return this summer is bringing new inspiration to Hart's work. She believes people are connecting with art in ways they never have before.
"People want to know the stories, they want to talk about the work. I feel like they're buying more original work than they have in the past so, in a way, I feel like people are getting an idea of what holds value and being willing to invest in it a little more than they did pre-pandemic," Hart said.
The Loring Park Art Festival runs through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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