The community art projects that make up the St. Croix River Valley Art Bench Trail will be a hub of activity in the coming weeks with events and activities, including performances and hands-on activities, taking place at several of the Art Bench sites. The Art Bench Trail is a program of The Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson, Wisconsin.
Hudson’s “River Bench” will be included in the community’s annual RiverFest, a celebration of the St. Croix and encouraging volunteer stewardship of the river. The festival, coordinated with the larger River Awareness Week, runs July 12 – 17. Go to www.stcroixriverfest.org for a complete list of events.
On Tuesday, July 15 from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m., gather by the river for a Native American celebration. Meet Medallion the Stallion, a life-sized horse sculpture traveling to pow wows and other community events throughout the region this summer, for hands-on activities and to learn about the important role of horses in Native American history. Enjoy a performance of traditional Native American dance by the Traditions Respecting American Indian Life Styles (TRAILS) Dance Troupe at 7:00 p.m., and create river-themed art projects including a “river stick” to bring to RiverFest’s culminating concert on Thursday, July 17.
TRAILS Dance Troupe began in 1996 and has over 30 dancers ranging in age from 4 to 17. The troupe has performed extensively at schools, festivals, parades, and other community events throughout Wisconsin, as well as at the 2002 U.S. Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah, and on tour in Japan in 2004.
This event, which is presented by The Phipps in partnership with the Hudson Area Library, is free and open to the public. In the case of rain, the event will be held in the Black Box Theater of The Phipps Center for the Arts.
On Saturday, July 12, at the “Butterfly Bench” in Freedom Park, Prescott, Wisconsin, students age six and older are invited to “Paint a Flying Flower.” The bench is located in the park’s butterfly garden, full of butterfly-friendly blooms. Teaching artist Susan Carmody will show participants how to capture their own digital images of butterfly garden flowers and butterflies and then paint a “Flying Flower” on canvas to bring home. Hands-on activities also include a butterfly hunt in the flower gardens, and games. This event is free for the first 16 participants by calling 715.262.0104 to register.
Future events at the Art Benches include a tea party at “Kindness is Key,” the art bench at Croixdale, a senior housing center in Bayport, Minnesota, on Tuesday, August 12, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m., co-hosted by the local Girl Scout troop; a free art making activity at “Settler’s Rest” in Marine on St. Croix during the Marine Art Fair, Saturday and Sunday, September 20 and 21; and drop-in participatory bird drawing sessions with demonstrations led by River Falls artist Vera Ming Wong at the “Junior Girl Scout Nature Bench” at Carpenter Nature Center in Hastings, Minnesota, on Saturday, September 27, from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. during the annual Raptor Release event.
In addition, throughout the summer, people of all ages are invited to visit the seven Art Benches and use their camera as a passport to enter a drawing for free tickets to performances at The Phipps. Simply upload photos from each bench at www.artbenchtrail.org. Photos may also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Art Bench Trail provides easily accessible opportunities for families to explore the area and experience community art.
For further information, contact Anastasia Shartin, The Phipps Center visual arts director, at 715.386.2305, ext. 103.
The Art Bench Trail is a partnership of The Phipps Center for the Arts, the St. Croix Valley Foundation, and the Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway. It is supported with funding from the Kresge Foundation.