Car show, brewfest, art festival converge in Polson – Valleyjournal
POLSON — A cluster of community events came together over the weekend to get the community outside and supporting good causes.
The Sandpiper Arts Festival celebrated its 51st year on the courthouse lawn this year with 48 new and returning artists filling up over 50 booths for locals to visit.
“The gist of it is it provides funds for our student scholarships, kids workshops, and other projects we have in the community,” Festival Chair Carole Carberry explained. “Also it’s an opportunity for emerging artists to show and sell their work, and we’ve got very established artists too.”
Artists signed up for the festival by visiting the Sandpiper Art Gallery website to download and submit an application and fee earlier in the year. Once accepted, the gallery collects a booth fee and gives them a hand-selected location to avoid having too many types of the same artists clustered together throughout the show.
“It’s a great effort on the part of our gallery,” Carberry said. “A lot of people are involved in making it happen, and we do good things with the funds we raise from it.”
Each year, the cooperative gallery puts together up to $3,000 for a scholarship for local students interested in pursuing an art-related degree. From the applicants, they choose the student they feel is most deserving, occasionally resulting in more than one scholarship awarded.
Previous Sandpiper scholarship winner Henrietta WolfBlack, a featured artist this year, debuted her ledger and digital art. “We’re really excited about that,” Carberry commented on WolfBlack’s presence. “She’s got a very unique style, it’s quite beautiful, and we’re just very pleased to have her in the show.”
Carberry herself had a booth this year, displaying both her own artwork and stain glass ornaments she makes with her husband.
She first became involved in the festival in 2006 when during a visit for the summer she saw a sign advertising the event. She called and asked if they still had spots available and when they confirmed they did she bought a tent and had her husband mail her several of their ornaments from South Carolina. Thanks to that experience, she’s now been one of the approximately 60 members of the cooperative for 15 years.
“It was very flash in the pan,” Carberry laughed. “That was my first experience with the show here, and it was a lot of fun.”
At the same time as the Arts Festival, the Polson Brew Fest took place; the first ever put on by the Polson Rotary Club.
While the Rotary Club used to do a chili cookoff each August in conjunction with the other community events, after a couple years off due to covid they took the time to refresh and decided to come back with something new.
Held on Main Street in front of the Elks Lodge 1695, they kept things simple with four breweries: Polson’s own Glacier Brewing, Ronan’s Cooperative Brewery, Tamarack Brewing from Lakeside and Flathead Lake Brewing from Big Fork.
“We’ll learn some lessons I’m sure this year,” President Brooke Duty laughed.
Part of a national organization, the Polson Rotary Club has raised over $400,000 since it began give back to youth projects in the community. “This year we’re giving to four different groups,” Duty explained. “The cheerleaders for new uniforms, Polson …….