Fourth year for “Art in the Hollow”

Andy Twedt
community columnist

The East Side’s beautiful Swede Hollow Park will host its fourth annual free art fest, “Art in the Hollow,” on Saturday, June 1, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sponsored by Friends of Swede Hollow, the event has become larger and more varied each year.

There’s still room for more artists, artisans, and performers, if they apply soon. It is required that sale items offered by artists and artisans be the work of the person selling them.

Art-fest director Romi Slowiak encourages ethnic diversity, not only in the sale items, but in the performing arts as well. Previous fests have included singers, dancers, and instrumentalists representing many cultures.

The event will again emphasize Swede Hollow’s colorful history and the immigrant groups who lived in its houses and shanties. Perhaps one of last year’s favorite attractions was musician Joe Sanchelli, a senior citizen who told stories of his Swede Hollow childhood. He didn’t know much about the Swedes for whom the hollow was named in the 1800s, but he knew a lot about the Italian and Irish families who lived in “Connemara Patch,” just south of Swede Hollow.

The art fest will include children’s art and parrot paintings. Not paintings of parrots, but paintings by parrots that reside at The Landing, an East Side humane shelter. The colorful birds are busy dabbing blobs of bright paint onto their small canvasses, in hopes of sales.

Director Slowiak adds attractions each year. She sponsored a sculpture contest this spring. The winning sculptures be displayed in woodsy settings at the art fest. She also held a poster contest for students at Johnson High. In addition, she will offer on-site workshops, taught by established artists.

Attendees may purchase food and drinks or bring their own lunches. Special vehicles and volunteer drivers will be available to transport artists and their supplies into the deep, lush hollow. There will be extra assistance for artists with disabilities.

For more information, call Friends of Swede Hollow president Karin DuPaul at 651-776-0550 or check out the art-fest website,

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