Judges Announced for Amish Acres 55th Anniversary Arts & Crafts Festival

Judges Announced for Amish Acres 55th Anniversary Arts & Crafts FestivalRichard Pletcher, founder of the Amish Acres Arts & Crafts Festival and Jennifer Pletcher Wysong, Marketplace Coordinator are pleased to announce the judges for the 55th Annual Arts & Crafts Festival.

The highlight of Amish Acres Arts & Crafts Festival is the awarding of over $5,000 in cash prizes from entries in the Marketplace. Each year two judges are selected to pick the prize winners in the two and three dimensional categories. This year's judges come from diverse backgrounds and will provide unique perspective to the process. The winners are put on permanent display in the Blue Ribbon Art Museum in Amish Acres Barn Loft wine tasting room.

The first Judge, Justin Barfield, from southern Louisiana, is a printmaking and sculptural artist who earned his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Notre Dame. He has exhibited both nationally and internationally, including at the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art in Grand Rapids, MI, the Martha Gault Art Gallery at Slippery Rock University, the Isis Durban Gallery at the University of Notre Dame, the Paper Circle Gallery in Ohio, the South Bend Museum of Art, The Reese Museum in Johnson City, TN, the eighth, ninth, and tenth Lessedra World Art Print Annual in Bulgaria, and the Durban Gallery in Durban, South Africa.

Annually participating in the Southern Graphics Council International conferences, Barfield has lectured on his work at Southeastern Louisiana University, Indiana Wesleyan University, and the Hannah House at the Mid American Print Conference, as well as given a demonstration on photo intaglio plate etching at Nicholls State University.

His work is a mix of printmaking and sculptural processes with rust. The rust is a connection to home, a place littered with scrap metal from his grandfather's welding business, and an influence for his broader ideas of urban change within the post-industrial landscape. Influenced by the destruction of his home during Hurricane Katrina, the Impact of the BP oil spill on the gulf coast seafood industry, and where he spent most his life, Barfield's work resonates with the recent and overwhelming ecological and economic changes.

Lucas Korte will serve as a second Judge for the Amish Acres Arts & Crafts Festival. Korte received his M.F.A. from the University of Notre Dame after studying biology at Wayne State University and fine art at the College for Creative Studies, both in Detroit. His work deals with the nonhuman generally, originally focusing on invertebrate forms as revealed by the science of biology, with an aim towards questioning the figure of the human and the central position it has held in the universe in Western culture. His current work deals with the inorganic, examining and pushing notions of inanimate matter as active, productive, and consequential in the universe, both for itself and for human life. His work has been exhibited nationally in Detroit, South Bend, and Chicago.

Festival hours are Thursday-Saturday (August 3-August 6) 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday (August 6) from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission price is $7.00 for adults; $6.00 for seniors, , and youth ages 12-17; active military personnel and children under age 12 are free. Parking is also free. No pets are allowed on the festival grounds. Amish Acres is located at 1600 West Market Street, (U.S. 6), one mile west of downtown Nappanee. For more information, call 800-800-4942 or visit online at www.amishacres.com.

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