Pioneer Art Festival includes handcart procession, art gallery and live entertainment

LOGAN — The 11<sup>th</sup> annual <a href=””>Little Bloomsbury Art Festival &amp; Concert Series</a> is welcoming guests to its Pioneer Art Festival this weekend. The event began Thursday, July 20, and continues Friday, Saturday and Monday (July 21, 22 and 24), from 10 a.m to 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday. The festival is coordinated in support of the <a href=””>Cache Valley Historical Society</a> and is themed “Faith in Every Footstep.”

On display at the festival will be artwork by featured artists Douglas Hyldahl (watercolor), Kristi South (ceramics) and Steve Wagner (oil), along with the work of 20 additional artists between the ages of 8 and 80. Dr. Brenda Sun, Founding Executive Director of the Little Bloomsbury Foundation, said the display brings together a diverse mix of pioneer enthusiasts who are both career artists and artists who also work in other industries including banking, law, homemaking, music and medicine.

“What is common among them,” Sun said, “are their high artistry and pioneer-like valiance and tenacity in perfecting their respective art forms.”

New this year, Sun has introduced a handcart procession to complement the art festival. Participants will dress as pioneers and pull a handcart in <a href=””>Logan City’s Pioneer Day Parade</a>, which takes place at noon on Monday. Carenna and Lucas Martin, who will pull a handcart with their seven young children, plan to make the activity a teaching moment for their family.

“I felt like we could go ahead and commit to being part of a handcart pull like this to help them remember why we’re celebrating Pioneer Day—remember that we’re celebrating the people that physically pulled handcarts and that it was hard work. They can do hard things too, and they can be a part of that,” Carenna Martin said.  “Yeah, it’s going to be hot. Over a mile of walking isn’t terrible for kids, but I’m sure I’ll have some whining part way through. I want them to know that they can push through it and be ok, that they can do it. And then in their own lives, we need pioneers today. We need people who are willing to push and do something that’s a little bit different or a little bit new.”

The Martins’ nine-year-old daughter, Naomi, is featured as the event’s “poster girl,” with Hyldahl’s watercolor portrait of her being showcased at the art festival.

“Doug lives in our neighborhood,” Carenna said, “and he was on the lookout for inspiration surrounding the theme ‘Faith in Every Footstep.’ Last Pioneer Day, Naomi wore her pioneer dress to church. When he saw her come in, he thought, ‘That will work. I think I can work with that,’ so he approached me and asked me if he could use her as a model for his paintings. They’re beautiful.”

Naomi is excited to participate in the Little Bloomsbury Art Festival and handcart procession and said she’s been feeling “feeling proud” of her picture being on the event’s promotional posters.

“It’s really wonderful to see other art, too,” she said, “and it’s really nice to know that the pioneers really worked hard to get here and to get all this done.”

Naomi’s mother agrees and said attending the festival is a wonderful opportunity.

“I would encourage people, even if they didn’t feel like they wanted to pull a handcart, to come to the art festival that’s running,” Carenna said. “There’s a lot of interesting pictures that people have done around the theme, and sculptures as well. I think it’s worth taking the time to go and take a look and see what people have been working on and see how it makes them feel about pioneers.”

At 6 p.m. on Thursday and Monday, guests of the Little Bloomsbury Pioneer Art Festival will enjoy a magic show and storytelling. Pianist Leslie Monroe and Jordan Snow (playing the banjo) will present a concert at 6 p.m. on Friday, with DJ Jones playing classical keyboard at 6 p.m. on Saturday evening. Admission is free of charge, and refreshments will be served. The Little Bloomsbury Pioneer Art Festival takes place at 181 N. 200 E. in Logan, “Where the teepee is.” More information is available at <a href=””></a>. 

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