Any person in the central Wisconsin area that is looking for a unique and fun night of art need look no further than the events CREATE Portage County offers.
CREATE Portage County is a nonprofit that aims to bring art to the culture of Portage County. CREATE helped in the creation of the Stevens Point murals and the Sculpture Park.
The most recent event was on Saturday, Oct. 14 and was entitled Fire Works.
“Fire Works is a family-friendly art experience that gives community members the opportunity to make and take art. For the month leading up to the event, we encourage community members to paint 8 X 10 canvases (provided by CREATE), which are then displayed on a gridded gallery (lit by bonfires) the night of the event. Attendees are given coordinates that match them to a piece of community-produced art that is theirs to keep or exchange,” said Greg Wright, Executive Director of CREATE Portage County.
Fire Works is a relatively new tradition. This was only the second year it was held, but there are plans for the event to continue in future years because of the success and fun of the event.
“The vibe is pretty great. We take over a farm for the night—so we are out in nature, heated by bonfires, listening to live music, eating farm-fresh pizza, and drinking fresh-pressed cider. It feels like everything that is great about Portage County. People of all ages gather to enjoy art, food, music, nature and each other,” said Wright.
The event did not just showcase art, but let members of the community get involved in making the art.
“Anybody can be a Fire Works artist. That is part of the fun. The event was motivated by recently released NIH research that discussed the health benefits of actively producing art. We wanted to give the community an excuse to tap into their inner artist. We have professional, amateur and first-time artists of all ages make paintings for the event,” said Wright.
The 215 pieces were on display at Whitefeather Organics in Custer, Wisconsin.
“We wanted farm-fresh food to be a part of the event both to highlight the amazing locally-sourced culinary arts scene in Portage County and to offer another readily available health benefit of living in Portage County. Whitefeather put in its pizza oven just in time for last year’s event to be their first public pizza night, so we were eager to take advantage of that partnership opportunity. We fell in love with the team at Whitefeather during that first event and realized this needed to be an annual thing,” said Wright.
Fire Works is what CREATE Portage County is all about. It makes a place for a variety of people from all over Portage County to come together to appreciate art.