Sweeter Than Ever

Festival rundown with O/B's creative director. 

We are lucky to have such a great event like the Sweet Pea Festival to look forward to every summer. It transforms Lindley Park into a magical place where you can see live performances, music, and art all in once place while munching on some great fair food. But it truly is an arts festival, and for me, the highlight of Sweet Pea is checking out the rows of arts and crafts vendor booths. I love to see the wide variety of creativity and wares on display. Wooden bowls glossed to a high shine; cool glass-art creations that remind me of hot pots in Yellowstone; metal sculptures that make for some funky-but-cool animals; tons of jewelry that is hard to resist; pottery that feels good to the touch; and photos and art that can stop you in your tracks.

One of the painters I had the pleasure of viewing last year and who will be back again this year is Sarah Morris, The Girl Who Paints. Her bold colors draw me right in to her paintings, and her pastoral scenes and wide expansive skies have a true rural Montana feel.

Nobody captures Montana better than some of our local photographers. Last year, Fish Eye Guy Photography by Pat Clayton was showcasing his stunning photos of trout in their natural element. He has some really unique views of many of our local piscine populations. If you haven’t seen any of his photos, check them out here. Ryan Turner is another local photographer who captures Montana scenes in all their brilliance. He is a master of light and color, presenting some wonderful atmospheric photos that manage to bring a bit of the outside world into your home. 

And one of my favorite local painters will be there this year, James Weikert. His bold landscapes, soaring peaks, and contrasting color schemes are not to be missed.

We’ve been lucky enough to have these four artists contribute to Outside Bozeman, but there are plenty of others at Sweet Pea to check out. With artists showcasing fiber arts to wearables, pottery to salves, jewelry to woodworking and metalsmithing, along with may styles of paintings and photography, it’s well worth your time to check out vendor row. 

Sweet Pea 2017 marks the 40th anniversary of the local arts festival. This year's showcase runs August 4-6.