Getting Handy With the Arts

Fiber Arts & Folk Life Festival combines cultures

by Amanda Luft, photos by Andrea Paulseth

Attention all textile artists and fiber arts enthusiasts! Mark your calendars for Saturday, Feb. 18, and get down to the Chippewa Valley Museum in Eau Claire’s Carson Park to celebrate the Eighth Annual Fiber Arts & Folk Life Festival. Formerly known as The Fiber Arts Festival, this event keeps growing year after year. Visitors are invited to explore a wide range of arts from Native American, European, and Asian cultures such as carving, painting, toy-building, weaving, braiding, quilting, fabric dyeing, cordage making, rug hooking, spinning, felting, and more. This year’s festival will also have a great emphasis on the fiber arts’ connection to agricultural heritage. New arts featured this year will be Ukrainian Pysanky (intricately painted Easter eggs), rosemåling (traditional decorative folk art originating in Norway; examples are on display at the Norske Nook), and lefse-making demonstrations. Many of the activities are free, and a few require only a small materials charge. More than 30 regional artists will offer educational displays, hands-on projects, mini-lessons, and have artwork for sale. The family-friendly festival is open to everyone and will include traditional food and music performances. It will take place throughout the Chippewa Valley Museum and include exhibits such as “Always Beading,” which highlight fiber arts in folk life. Hot chocolate, coffee, tea, and other refreshments will be for sale in the historic ice cream parlor. 

Fiber Arts & Folk Life Festival • 11am to 4pm, Saturday, Feb. 18  • Chippewa Valley Museum, Carson Park, Eau Claire • $7 adults, $4 ages 5-17, free for ages 4 and under and museum members • (715) 834-7871 • cvmuseum.com

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