What started as an idea for a simple gallery walk exploded into a plethora of vendors, family events, live music and more next Saturday, July 19, in Gem Village.
So "Off the Beaten Path - an Artistic Explosion" was born.
Karrie Sellke, the owner of Studio Sellke on U.S. Highway 160, said the idea for Off the Beaten Path came up when she was talking with Ashleigh Tarkington, the owner of the nearby Billy Goat Saloon, and the owners of two nearby antique stores. Maybe a monthly gallery walk and reception might work in the area? Sellke has a rotating pool of artists showing in her new gallery, which just moved across the highway from her former industrial location in Gem Village. But with free vendor space, then live music, the concept grew and grew.
The festival takes place from noon to 6 p.m. July 19, with live music and vendors at The Billy Goat and at Valley Feed and Ranch. More artists and vendors will be at Angle Collision, Heibco Trailers, Village Junction Antiques, Serendipity Antiques, Studio Sellke, and possibly some other locations.
A local favorite, the kiddie train, will be running at Southwest Ag. Food will be provided by Baked of Bayfield, which is setting up for the festival at the Billy Goat, and Navajo tacos at Village Junction Antiques. Mountain Man Water is providing free water fillups for canteens and water bottles for festival goers. Their truck will be located at Grasshoppers Landscaping.
"We will have a whole huge eclectic collection of vendors," Sellke said.
One vendor is her neighbors, local rockhounds and artists Cindy and Ronald Cuthbert.
The two were members of the old Rock Club in Gem Village, and they have mounds and boxes and bins of rocks, fossils, jewelry and more. Cindy Cuthbert creates funky rock "doughnuts," or polished rock with a hole inside, that can be interchanged with different colored cords. There also are more sophisticated polished pieces in metal settings. Railroad-themed rocks and railroad spikes also are popular with local visitors.
Cindy creates gourd birdhouses and thundermakers, in which a metal coil creates a thunderous sound that reverberates in the dried gourds. She decorates other gourds with woodburning, carving tools, stains and paints.
The Cuthberts will be working at their small summer place near Studio Sellke through the summer, then they'll go to Arizona for the winter.
Free vendor space is still available for the festival, but needs to be reserved ASAP by calling the studio at 884-0565.