Art Barn School of Art has always done things a little differently. Located off of state road 400 East in Valpo, the school of art is located in a barn, hence the name. Their building is surrounded by trees, fields, and sunflowers. And unlike other art centers, they want to inspire the public to get involved with the diverse areas of the arts.
Art Blitz is an event that takes its name from a bioblitz, an event where biologists and naturalists go into a new area and identify new species. The staff at Art Barn became inspired by the notion that people can come in and find something new, thus the creation of Art Blitz. The event invited the public to explore and create something new.
This is the 3rd year for the Art Blitz Festival and the atmosphere is alive with activities, laughter, music, animals, and of course art! Children and adults of all ages enjoyed food and music while painting and peruse art vendors.
“The atmosphere is very laidback,” said Amy Davis Navardauskas, the Executive Director of the Art Barn. “Kids can get their face painted, board painting, artist demonstrations, talk with artists and more.”
This is also the second year Art Barn has hired the band Switchback for the Art Blitz event. The American band is based in Griffith, but travels all over the U.S., Canada, UK, and Europe. Yet, getting involved with the Art Blitz has been one of their favorite events.
“This is such a family-centered event, it feels like a homecoming” explains Martin McCormack of the two-man band, “We don’t often get to perform for such a laidback creative crowd. I like the vibe of Art Barn and the people here; it reflects back into our music. You can just see the people enjoying themselves. It’s a pretty cool thing.”
The vendors that showcased their art at the Art Blitz also enjoyed the event. Artists from all across Northwest Indiana showed off their work, anything from clothing, textiles, jewelry, pottery, puppetry, and painting. Organizations such as the Duneland Plein Air Painters group also showcased their art in a tent.
Julia Holmaas is a member of the Duneland Plein Air Painters Group and is serving as the Board President, Program Director, and Instructor at Art Barn School of Art.
“What makes the Art Blitz special is the fact that we get people here, we get them immersed in art,” Holmaas said, “Art Barn has been here for 40 years, and we’re still doing events and that’s special, too.”
Art Barn School of Art’s Art Blitz Festival continues to tomorrow, Sunday, September 22. Admission to the event is free. You can learn more about the event, classes, and the history of Art Barn by checking out their website at https://www.artbarnschool.org/.