Annual Art on the Prairie resumes in-person festivities

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Bill and Barb Clark of Perry were on hand in the lobby to sign their new book, "Turtle on a Fence Post: Anecdotal Stories from the Restoration of the Hotel Pattee and Carnegie Library in Perry, Iowa."


The 12th annual Art on the Prairie marketplace and festival featured large crowds and cold temperatures Saturday and Sunday in Perry’s downtown business and cultural district.

The annual event resumed its in-person format this year after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the 2020 festival into an online version.

This year’s art fest brought together in seven downtown venues some 40 plastic or visual artists, from painters and photographers to sculptors, ceramicists and workers in glass and wood, and 30 musical performers in many genres. Literary artists only were lacking this year.

Venues included the Hotel Pattee, Security Bank Building, Perry Public Library, Carnegie Library, Town/Craft Center, Betsy Peterson Designs and La Poste, where the joys of small-town culture were celebrated.

“It’s been a very good festival this year,” said painter Deborah Baughman of Pulaski, who sold a number of her oil and watercolor paintings each day. “The crowd on Saturday was huge.”

The juried arts works included ceramics, painting, jewelry, photography, fiber arts, printmaking, glass, wood and folk art.

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