For the fourth year in a row, artists from all over the region will descend on Mineral this weekend to show off and sell work ranging from paintings to wood carvings to sculptures.
“There’s such an eclectic, wide variety of things, no two things alike,” said Dora Hale, one of the Mineral Lake Lions Club members who is helping coordinate the event. “People can’t believe there’s so much talent back in these woods.”
The event is organized by the Lions Club and hosted at the Mineral School, an artist-in-residence program run at the old schoolhouse in town.
“There are a lot of artists living around Mineral and Mount Rainier, so it’s a chance for them to sell their stuff in a concentrated way,” said Jane Hodges, the school’s owner. “It’s a nice mix for the artists to meet each other.”
In the past years, the fair has drawn close to 500 people to Mineral, Hodges said, and organizers are expecting turnout to be strong again this year. Hale said more than a dozen artists have registered to show their work.
Plenty of other events will be happening during the fair, which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily Friday to Sunday. A raffle will help fund residencies at the Mineral School, which last year covered costs for nearly two residents. On Saturday night, the alt-country band The Drop Shadows will be performing at the Headquarters Tavern. The fair will also feature a printing demonstration and quilt show.
In addition to art pieces like jewelry, the fair will feature products like soap and honey — all handmade. Hale said the impressive array of artists always makes her emotional, after months of organizing the event.
“As soon as everybody’s in there and set up, I get a lump in my throat,” she said. “You stand up in the bleachers and look down and see it.”
Hale’s co-coordinators are fellow Lions Club members Rose Suter and Linda Gordon, and they’ve been planning the event since last October. They really “got to cranking,” Hale said, this February. Lynda Nanny helped coordinate the quilt show. Hale said the lead-up to the event has been hectic, but Mineral is poised to pull off another successful fair.
“The last week is always a scramble getting things pulled together,” she said.