Art, food, music and more! The James Memorial Art Center’s Art Fest is gearing up for its 14th annual event, and this is is bigger and better than ever before.

Affectionately known as “Art in the Park,” Art Fest is a day-long art festival that features live entertainment throughout the day, activities for children, as well as art, craft and food vendors. Art Fest planner and James Memorial Vice President Deana Novak said the purpose behind Art Fest is to promote art in northwestern North Dakota as well as raise funds for the preservation of the James Memorial Library. The event is one of the James’ largest fundraisers, and Novak noted that proceeds from the event are used for restoration projects at the facility. Traditionally held at Recreation Park in Williston, this year’s event will take place at Harmon Park, giving Art Fest a larger venue than in years past.

“Recreation Park has been Art Fest’s home for many years,” Novak told the Williston Herald. “But with construction happening all around the park, we knew we needed to find another park. We were lucky enough to be able to use Harmon Park, and that gives us the opportunity to have more artists and vendors for people to come out and see.”

Happening on Saturday, Sept. 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Art Fest will fill the park with artists and vendors of every kind, from woodworkers and painters, to photographers and crafters. This year’s theme is “Peace,” which Novak said was chosen as Sept. 21 is International Peace Day. That theme is carried over into Art Fest’s live auction, one of the most popular parts of the event. Artists from Williston and surrounding areas are asked to create pieces for the auction, integrating the theme into their works.

Artists are given free rein with their creations, allowing them to use whatever medium they prefer to interpret the theme of Peace. The pieces will be auctioned off beginning at 1 p.m., offering attendees the chance to take home some unique original artwork from a local artist.

“The artistic talent that we have in our area is remarkable,” Novak said. “I really believe Williston has some of the best artists around, and Art Fest is one of the ways we can showcase their talent. People can come out and see what our local artists have been creating, and bid on some really great one-of-a-kind pieces.”

Novak added that those looking to bid in the auction should come to the park early and pick up their auction numbers in case they run out. There will be artist demonstrations and activities for children throughout the day, with live entertainment from local musicians and entertainers.

Art Fest is free and open to the public. For more information or to donate artwork for the live auction, contact the James Memorial art Center at 701-774-3601 or visit their website at www.thejamesmemorial.org/artfest.

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