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Laura Ingalsbe and Grace Huckfeldt saw a need in the Springfield arts community for a fall show indoors. After years of talking, they finally decided to do something about it. Thankfully, Ingalsbe is well prepared for the task.
“I really enjoy event planning and used to do that in another life,” said Ingalsbe, who co-owns Formed: An Artist Collective and Forming Art Studios with Huckfeldt. “It’s something that — having participated in really great shows and not really great shows — I’ve seen what I like as an artist and what I would’ve wanted as an artist. We want to put on something that people really want to go to.”
That something is Art of the Ozarks: Fine Art Fair. It debuts Nov. 17-18 inside the BarrelHouse at Mother’s Brewing Company. The admission fee of $10 is good for both days and comes with a free drink, alcoholic or non-alcoholic, from Mother’s. The show is open from 2-8 p.m. both days and Ingalsbe wants guests to know it is a family-friendly event.
“Just because it’s at a brewery doesn’t mean that your kids can’t come and have a place to go outside and play and run around,” she said. “And they’ll be able to come in and enjoy art. Art is for everyone.”
A small, intimate art fair experience
Art of the Ozarks will have something for every art lover, with 21 artists showing and selling their work. Ingalsbe said there will be paintings and pottery, woodturning and jewelry, fiber arts and photography, and glass and digital art. Even better, since the show is small, you’ll have time and space to interact with the artists.
“I think that is really important for an art fair,” Ingalsbe said. “Artists may not want to talk about themselves so much, or promote themselves so much, but they love to talk about art. You’ll have a good opportunity this weekend to have a more intimate experience of being able to ask about processes, where they get their inspiration, how pieces are created, that kind of thing. I think that’s really valuable when people are purchasing art, even if it’s something simple and small.
“Being able to purchase an original work from someone and know how they made it is awesome.”
All of the participating artists have donated a piece of art for a silent auction during Art of the Ozarks. Proceeds will be donated to Springfield Black Tie, an organization that raises money for LGBTQ+ organizations in southwest Missouri.
“We’re excited to chip in and help out those underrepresented members of our community through them,” Ingalsbe said.
Beyond art, there will be live music from Tony Menown both days, as well as food trucks. The Almighty Sando Shop will be set up on Friday, with Lae’s Authentic Egg Rolls serving hungry art lovers on Saturday.
A chance to make sales and connections
The show happens to fall at the start of Springfield’s holiday shopping season, and Ingalsbe hopes all of the artists make a lot of sales at Art of the Ozarks. She also hopes the show plants seeds for future purchases.
“People will be able to get their contact information and have the ability to reach out to these artists, whether it’s for commissions or to purchase something later that they saw and just needed to check the space in their home,” Ingalsbe said. “It’s a chance to make those good connections with some super talented local people.”
Getting set up for the weekend — and beyond
The Art of the Ozarks team got off to a late start planning this event but has been pleased with how plans have come together and is ready to welcome guests to the BarrelHouse at Mother’s.
“It’s been a wonderful experience,” Ingalsbe said. “Everything’s kind of clicking into place and we’re learning all the steps we should take a little earlier next year. And that’s the goal, to keep it going and do it again and again and again.
“Barring any major catastrophes — volcanoes, floods or hurricanes — we’re set and ready. And indoors. To see art displayed indoors is awesome. Setting up a tent and all of that is not as fun as it sounds.”
Want to go?
What — Art of the Ozarks: Fine Art Fair
When — Nov. 17-18, 2-8 p.m. both days
Where — Mother’s Brewing Company, 215 S. Grant Ave., Springfield
Tickets — $10, good for both days. Tickets are available online in advance or at the door and come with one free drink from Mother’s
More information — Follow Art of the Ozarks on Facebook