Ninety artists are participating in the sixth annual Southwest Iowa Art Tour: Connecting Communities Through Art beginning today through Sunday.
The self-guided tour includes 12 southwest Iowa communities, 16 gathering places and more than 90 artists that “bring awareness to local arts and artists in rural southwest Iowa” as well as “help support economic reinvestment” in small towns, according to a release by Golden Hills Resource Conservation & Development.
Traditionally, the event is held the third Saturday and Sunday in September, but the tour is hosting a “sneak peek” featuring selected locations today.
Today’s tour will showcase The Painted Camel Gallery in Macedonia from 1 to 7 p.m. In Malvern, the Art Church, Colorado Studio and Fine Arts on 5th will also be open from 1 to 7 p.m.
Saturday exhibits will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.
“It’s a terrific event, it connects the community with rural towns, and artists come out of the woodwork. It shows what’s available in all of our little towns,” said Rachel Schott, marketing and office manager for PACE.
Participating locations include: Avoca, Council Bluffs, Glenwood, Harlan, Macedonia, Malvern, Neola, Oakland, Red Oak, Shenandoah, Sidney and Tabor.
The tour has grown from nine participating communities and 30 artists in its first year to now more than 90 artists and 12 communities.
PACE will have some artist studio lofts at the Harvester Loft Space open Saturday and Sunday. On Sunday, there will be a food truck and Mimosa Bar for anyone 21 and older, said Schott.
“One of the cool things this year is we have five artist studio lofts that will be open, so they’ll be able to see the live work spaces of the artist on each floor,” said Schott.
Golden Hills RC&D recommends The Art Farm in Shenandoah to be the last stop because of its extended hours. Graham Whorley, musician and nationally touring artist, will perform at 7 p.m.
The event is free and open to the public.