Painting by Savannah Belgarde.

Painting by Savannah Belgarde.

The central Iowa town of Perry is preparing what promises to be an all-encompassing art show this weekend, featuring paintings and sculpture but also music, poetry and many other things that are considered art.

Jenny Eklund, board president of Art on the Prairie, says it’s the community’s sixth annual all-Iowans art festival in the downtown Cultural and Historic District.

Eklund says, “We have over 100 artists, musicians and poets in seven different buildings, which are all on the historic register.” The non-profit juried arts festival is what she calls “a collaboration of creativity” that layers art, music and words from a foundation of small town community spirit and ingenuity. The festival hosts artists, all of whom are from Iowa, in a wide variety of media:

“Pottery, painting, sculpture, jewelry, photography, fiber arts, letter press, glass, wood, folk art,” Eklund says, “and we have a lot of demonstrations going on also.” The festival is not just limited to the visual arts.

“We have a list of poets that are going to be in the lower level of the Hotel Pattee,” Eklund says. “They’ll do their poetry and their readings and you just come in. We have about 30 musicians. They’ll perform for 30 minutes or so, take a little break, and they’ll move on to another building.”

The festival runs Saturday and Sunday in downtown Perry in the following buildings: Hotel Pattee, Town Craft Building, Carnegie Library Museum, Security Bank Building, Perry Public Library, Peterson Designs, and La Poste. All are within walking distance in the downtown. The festival is free.